04.10.2019 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO Celebrates National Batik Day 2019 with Communities in Borobudur and Klaten

Activities in Youth Center, Klaten. Credit photos : YLKIS and Sampur Ariyanto

On 2 October 2019, local batik makers from Borobudur villages visited the Borobudur World Heritage site to observe and study the temple motifs under the guidance of Borobudur Conservation Office (BCO) and YLKIS, a local NGO. In the morning, the participants visited the main temple and attended the lectures by experts from BCO and Vihara Mendut. From these sessions, the participants have in turn developed new designs and motifs for batik products inspired from the philosophy and the aesthetic of the monuments.

“We are very happy about this workshop, as now we have the opportunity to learn more about the Borobudur temple reliefs and apply them on new products that are likely to be more appealing”, said Sisca Wahyanti, one of the batik makers from Batik Borobudur group.

On the same day, the Youth Center in collaboration with the Batik Kebon Indah group in Klaten also celebrated the Batik Day.  More than 200 people from Yogyakarta and Central Java painted a 100-meter fabric put around the Center. Hundreds of student from Budi Mulia Dua Senior High School Yogyakarta and Madrasah Ibtidaiyah Meger Klaten also joined the workshop on batik making introduction course and demonstration on natural dye.  

The cultural significance of Indonesian Batik is evident in the way it is woven throughout the everyday lives of Indonesians. Batik has been passed down through generations since the early 19th century, and today the techniques, symbolism and traditions surrounding the hand-dyed cotton and silk garments are integral part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.  Indonesia began celebrating “Batik Day” on 2 October 2009, after UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in the same year.

The celebration of Batik Day was supported by the Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance, a UNESCO long-time partner in the promotion of Asian heritage.  The activity is also part of “Creative Youth at the Indonesian Heritage Sites”, a UNESCO – Citi Foundation project promoting youth cultural start-ups around iconic heritage sites.

This activity intends to contribute to:

  • Goal 4 (Target 4.4 by 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship)
  • Goal 5 (target 5.5 on ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life).

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