28 September 2012
Batik as Indonesian's Identity
Batik is the cultural expression with symbolic meaning and high aesthetic value for Indonesians. The beautiful uniqueness forms the character of the nation that differentiates us with other nations so that it can be the national identity.
Lala Palupi Santyaputri UPH students were wacthing batik collections of Tati Suroyo

 

It is one week left to National Batik Day on October 2. The day was appointed so that Indonesians recognize and appreciate the Indonesia's cultural heritage.

 

Batik is the cultural expression with symbolic meaning and high aesthetic value for Indonesians. The beautiful uniqueness forms the character of the nation that differentiates us with other nations so that it can be the national identity.

 

"In the past, for most Indonesians, batik was only appropriate for several occasions, such as cultural ceremonies, weddings, or formal events. These days, batik has been widely used, even by people from the city where identity is hard to dig in. More and more people are wearing batik in every occasion and place," mentioned Lala Palupi Santyaputri, UPH Visual Communication Design lecturer, in book review event "Isen-Isen dalam Batik Tati Suroyo" at UPH Campus.

 

Batik is not only for the Javanese people or people from certain circles or groups. Everyone, from various ethnic groups or classes, is proud to wear batik. "The meaning of batik has shifted," she added.

 

Lala quoted Stuart Hall's theory about identity. According to Hall, identity is a matter of right to be acknowledged. It is in the past and the future. Identity is not something previously existed and not able to be changed. It keeps changing. So it is about the ability to adapt with time and space.

 

According to Lala, the shifting process of the barik meaning as identity, is happening in our society. For instance, in colonial era, batik, differentiates the locals with non-locals. Batik was used to distinguish the social class or show the origin of a person. However, the meaning of batik as identity has shifted from local to national even international scope. Batik may show the identity of Indonesians but it can also colllaborate with other materials to make it modern. It is known as the hybrid culture. In terms of function, it also has shifted. Batik was used for clothing material, then it was used for interior design material, and now it is used for product design material. There was even a car painted with batik pattern in an auction. There is also cellphone case with batik pattern.

 

The existence of batik as an identity and Indonesia's cultural heritage was also acknowledged globally by UNESCO who appointed batik as the world heritage in October 2, 2009. The government then commemorated the date as National Batik Day.

 

Lala lastly quoted Bung Karno's statement: our land is rich, rich, rich. Be high minded, imaginative. Dig to work, work, we are the most beautiful homeland in the world. "It is true that Indonesia is rich and I believe it is not just with batik, but there are so many things that we can study from Indonesia's culture," she ended her presentation. Happy National Batik Day. (rh)

 

UPH Media Relations