The inauguration of “Batik Village” kicked off at 11 am on Saturday, May 21, 2011 with more than 2,000 visitors were expected to swarming Jl. Palbatu Raya near Tebet in South Jakarta over the weekend.
The two-day festival ran from morning till late afternoon and with its theme of “The beauty of Nusantara Batik”, it featured several booths displaying batik from Bogor, Brebes, Cirebon, Demak, Yogyakarta, Madura, Pekalongan, Solo and even from Jambi. All these booths were located in the resident houses whose origin came from various ethnic groups in the country. It really showed the truth of “Unity in diversity” our national motto. In addition there were booths of food and beverages along with musical performances and fashion show by the local residents.Ismoyo W. Bimo, the event chairman, said he was grateful that his “Komunitas Batik Banget Indonesia” could have cooperation with “Komunitas Cinta Batik Indonesia” and “Domino wedding card & souvenir” shop to initiate the event, then they managed to stage the festival despite pros and cons by some Pal Batu residents.
He also said prior to the festival, they were indeed faced challenges, but a series of meetings with representatives of the residents to assure them the community would benefit from the event finally facilitated proceedings.
As for batik makers from different places, Iwan from “Komunitas Cinta Batik Indonesia” said,”We assured them, they would be able to showcase their products because we provided them with free booths.”Iwan emphasized, the main objective of holding this event is to preserve batik as our national heritage. “We would like also to introduce various batiks from different parts of Indonesia to the public, particularly to the young generation,” he added.
In this event, visitors could involve in several activities related to batik such as how to make a batik, coloring contest and making batik design, including record breaking of MURI (Indonesian Record Museum) in letting local residents and visitors to paint the street with the longest batik motif.
“I thought batik only came from Central Java. I never heard of West Java batik before,” said a visitor to the exhibit. West Java batik, based on a tradition dating back to 1430, is not as well known as batik from Solo, Yogyakarta and Pekalongan.
“Only a few people know that West Java has its own traditional batik, which comprises the history and philosophy of the region in its beautiful motifs,” said an attendant of Cirebon batik booth. “In some West Java areas, batik is already extinct, like batik Ciamis,” added booth attendant.
West Java Batik features motifs derived from Sundanese culture, which was influenced by both Hindu and Islam as well as cultures from China, India and the Netherlands.
Among the most recognizable of the West Java batik motifs are buketan galang gasi, parang kembang, lunglungan, urang ayu and mega mendung. West Java batik is different from Central Java batik because of its use of vibrant colors like green, red, orange and blue.
Visitors like Andre and his friend Donny, who live in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, said they accidentally stumbled upon the festival while driving around to find a hang out for the weekend.
“I highly recommend people spend time here this weekend. I find the food bazaar the most appealing because we can try various dishes,” Andre said while lining up to buy kerak telor, a distinctly Jakarta dish or the equivalent of rice omelette.
Rani and Nita, two of many women visitors were happy to attend this event. By having it, they do not need to travel far to get batik. “All this time, when I wanted to buy batik, I used to go to Central Java,” Nita commented