UNESCO: Batik is Indonesian heritage

Friday, 02 October 2009 16:10

Warta - English News

JAKARTA - Indonesia deserves to be proud. It is official that the world has formally recognized batik as Indonesian cultural heritage, according to an Indonesia minister.

The long-awaited recognition was given by representatives from 114 countries who gathered at UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, which is currently holding its fourth session in Abu Dhabi.

Tourism and culture minister, Jero Wacik said today that batik had been officially recognized as Indonesian cultural heritage in a meeting held by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“They have banged the gavel, confirming batik as Indonesian cultural heritage,” Jero said as quoted by The Jakarta Globe, adding that he received the report from government representatives who attended the meeting.

UNESCO has previously recognized the keris, a traditional dagger, in 2005 and wayang puppets in 2003 as being part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.

With official recognition, Jero said that Malaysia could no longer claim batik as its cultural heritage because Indonesia has proven its case. Indonesia has its own history connected with batik in each region, he said.

“If Malaysia still wants to challenge UNESCO’s decision, go ahead. But, it would be better if it tried its own creation,” Jero said.

After batik, he said that angklung (a bamboo musical instrument from West Java), gamelan (sets of tuned bronze gongs, drums, string instruments from Java and Bali) and sasando (a string instrument from East Nusa Tenggara) would be the next Indonesian art culture items that might be proposed to UNESCO for recognition in the near future.

Jero called on people to give more appreciation to Indonesian culture.

“Let’s wear batik more often, watch wayang, and have keris collections. Don’t just fight for recognition and then ignore it afterwards,” he said.

Taken from: http://www.waspada.co.id/