Batik and About

batikIt’s been a few week since we celebrate the announcement of Batik as our national heritage. So do you still wear your Batik today?

While I like the fact that the world finally recognizes Batik as one of our national heritage, I do believe that there are still a lot of thing we should consider, about batik and our other so called national heritage. Especially about how we appreciate and treated those crafts, arts and cultures.

For one, indeed, as many have said and write, we only do care about our arts and culture when other country claim that arts and cultures as theirs. In retrospect, considering how rich our country is, actually this is not an entirely surprising attitude. Honestly, if I’m asked about a certain culture, arts or traditional thing coming from one region, most of the time I just shrugged for I don’t have the knowledge or information regarding such thing. Not meaning that this is an okay behavior though, I agree that something we must do something about this. And what I mean by we is us, the citizen of this country. It’s time to stop relying on our government to do everything.

The second point that comes into mind, while having a conversation at twitter and Chic plurk thread is that most of the time, while the we appreciate the crafts, the arts, and the cultures, we seldom convey our appreciation the all those people who makes that happened. I still can recall the news a little while ago about how those ketoprak actor who only gets less than Rp. 50.000,- per show. In similar notes, such fate is also happened to most of the traditional craftsman. While their product is sold at tremendous price tags here and abroad, they only get a little fraction of it.

Should this trends continue, the only thing that assured is that those so called our national heritage will dies and forgotten, simply because it was not a viable option to earn a living. In regard of this issue, I recalled something that the Japanese government does, they’re not just simply taking the arts, the crafts and those cultural things as their national heritage, they also recognize the people as Living National Treasure of Japan. Something that I wish we could also do to show our appreciation to those who dedicates their lives to preserve and guard our National Heritage.

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