[Indonesia Report] Traditional Batik Tulis, an invaluable cultural legacy of Indonesia

World Batik Summit 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo: www.kompas.com)

Batik is Indonesian traditional fabric with classic ethnic pattern. The traditional Batik is drawn by Indonesian artists and the method they use is known as a wax-resist dyeing.

This kind of Batik is different from the printed pattern batik that is common to find these days.

The Batik artists use a tool called canting in Indonesian as a device where they put the ink inside and use the canting to draw the fabric with Indonesian traditional pattern of Batik.

This hand-drawn Batik is called as Batik Tulis in Indonesia, meaning Writing Batik in literally translation.

Batik Tulis is one of the most wanted souvenirs for international tourists visiting Indonesia.

The uniqueness of Batik Tulis is the high level of difficulty in drawing the patterns and its classical patterns have distinctive difference from the modern printed Batik. Besides that, Batik Tulis also has its own philosophy behind its each pattern.

Japanese and American tourists are one of the groups who most like to buy Indonesian Batik Tulis.

Batik Tulis is more expensive than the modern one. According to Kompas.com’s report, one Batik Tulis can cost for around 800.000 Indonesian Rupiah or around 100.000 Korean Won. While the price for modern Batik can only cost for 200.000 Indonesian Rupiah or around 25.000 Korean Won.

The Kompas.com interviewed one of Batik Tulis artist, Suharti, who expressed her concern on the preservation of this traditional cultural heritage.

“While various modern patterns emerge, traditional batik tulis should be preserved.” Suharti said.

Suharti’s concern seems legit. Despite of its superiority over the modern Batik in quality, due to its difficulty, not many Indonesian youngsters nowadays want to learn the art of batik Tulis. It is time for the Indonesian government to do something to protect the invaluable cultural legacy from being extinct.

Meidyana Rayana Intern Reporter news@theasian.asia

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