October 2 is a special day for the people of Indonesia. The reason is, every year this moment is commemorated as National Batik Day. As the younger generation, it is appropriate for us to participate in this commemoration.
But before participating in the celebration, do you know the history of that day? So, in order to understand and love the nation’s culture more, let’s explore together the history of Batik Day and the intricacies of the batik cloth itself.
7 Interesting Facts and History of National Batik Day
Summarized from various sources, here are a series of interesting facts about the art of batik and National Batik Day.
1. Batik is not just a cloth
The word batik actually refers to the technique of making motifs on cloth using canting and candles or wax. For Javanese people, batik comes from the verb batik or make dots.
Historically, the word batik is composed of two syllables. Namely, ‘amba’ which means a wide cloth and ‘tik’ which means dots.
The pattern which is then described on the cloth also has a philosophical meaning. For example, the Parang Kusuma motif has the meaning that life must be based on a struggle to find inner and outer fragrance, like the fragrance of flowers (kusuma).
2. Has existed since the Majapahit era
It is not known for sure since when batik existed in the Indonesian community. However, experts believe that batik has existed since the Majapahit era. Batik art that grew in the Majapahit kingdom can be traced in the Tulungagung and Mojokerto areas.
Some experts even believe that batik has been known by the Javanese people since around the 12-13th century. This opinion is reinforced by the discovery of temple carvings from the Hindu-Buddhist kingdom era featuring batik motifs.
Related article: Batik Culture, Introducing National Culture
3. In the past, Batik was only used by royalty
At first, batik was only worn by a limited group of people in the palace environment. The batik motifs they use depict history, stories, and certain meanings. Even today, there are several motifs that do have a sacred meaning so that they cannot be used by just anyone.
Over time, batik began to be known by the general public. The widespread existence of batik is thought to have originated from the workers in the palace environment who often took batik work outside the palace.
4. Batik was introduced to the world by President Suharto
The beauty of batik began to be glimpsed by the international community since it was introduced by President Soeharto around the mid 80’s. At that time, Suharto gave souvenirs in the form of batik cloth to state guests.
Not only that, Suharto also wore batik while attending the UN conference. This is what makes batik cloth increasingly popular.
Related article: 7 Most Famous Indonesian Batik Motifs, Are There from Your Area?
5. Variety of Batik Motifs in Indonesia
In fact, there are very many types of typical Indonesian batik. A study conducted by the Bandung Fe Institute and Sobat Budaya in 2015 even found that there are at least 5,849 batik motifs in the country.
The various motifs are spread from Aceh to Papua. Some of them are Parang Kusumo batik from Solo, Mega Mendung batik from Cirebon, Seven Rupa batik from Pekalongan, Sanggat Ship motif from Jambi, Besurek motif from Bengkulu, and Singo Barong batik from Bali.
6. History of National Batik Day
The commemoration of Batik Day every October 2 was initiated during the era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration. This is closely related to UNESCO’s determination of batik as one of the world heritages Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009.
Batik Day is then always celebrated to raise public awareness, especially the younger generation to be proud and love this one ancestral heritage. The theme that is carried is always different every year.
7. Greetings for National Batik Day
Well, if you want to celebrate Batik Day, you can send a simple but meaningful greeting to close relatives as follows:
- Happy National Batik Day, October 2, 2021. Let’s preserve batik as a national identity.
- Happy National Batik Day! Don’t forget to wear your best batik today. Let’s love and preserve the culture of the archipelago together.
- Don’t just be proud to be the current millennial generation, but be proud when you participate in preserving batik as a noble and meaningful heritage. Happy Batik’s Day!
Those are some interesting facts about the art of batik and National Batik Day. So, have you? Parents and your little one is wearing batik today?
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