Indonesia National Batik Day

by James Ogilvie – England

Batik is a traditional fabric made in Indonesia using wax and dye, and it is very popular here. However, for a long time they have argued with Malaysia over where the tradition originated! Today, UNESCO officially designated Indonesian Batik as a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, resulting in the first ever National Batik Day. To celebrate this, everyone wore some Batik clothing and the schools in Surabaya commemorated the event. We visited a school this morning, called SD Al-Muslim Wadungasri, where I helped make a large Batik with a map of Indonesia to celebrate the first Batik Day.

Lots of children in the school helped and so many people came to watch me draw on the fabric with the wax. There were even two film crews from different television channels who had come to film the event, and I had to give my first ever tv interviews about what I thought of Batik!

This afternoon we went to another school, called SDN Kandangan III, where I talked to a class of children about recycling in England. The children here were a lot younger than the ones I spoke to yesterday but they were still very perceptive to the ideas in my presentation. Once we finished we had some photos taken with the children and the teachers, which was quite funny. When we tried to leave in the car, we got totally mobbed by the children, who were shouting and banging on the car and the windows! It was really funny; made me feel like a celebrity or something!

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