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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Indonesia, Lesson 20 - National Batik Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Indonesia Series at IndonesianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Indonesian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 20, National Batik Day. In Indonesian, it’s called Hari Batik Nasional.
National Batik Day is celebrated every year on October 2nd. The government, through the Cabinet Secretary, reminds people around the entire country to wear batik on this day. This encouragement to wear batik clothing is announced on the government's official page, and is also sent to the civil servants, state-owned enterprises, and governors and mayors in each region.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know the origin and meaning of the word batik?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. So, keep listening.
The commemoration of Batik Day is still very new; it was created by the President, or in Indonesian Presiden, in 2009. This decree was enacted after UNESCO officially admitted the Indonesian Batik to the world heritage culture list. UNESCO includes batik in the List of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The stipulation of National Batik Day represents a government effort to increase the Indonesian people's national dignity and the nation’s positive image in international forums, as well as to grow national pride and love for traditional Indonesian culture.
Several provinces hold batik festivals. One of the most famous ones is Festival Batik Solo or Solo’s Batik Festival, which is famous for its batik parade on the main street of the city. The activity, which began in 2008, has approximately 250 regular people participating as models, parading a distance of 4.2 kilometers wearing various batik creations. Batik patterns are not only painted on fabrics, or in Indonesian kain, but also on a long list of items, including tarps, nets, papers, CDs, plastic glasses, balloons, and chicken feathers.
Technically speaking, Batik is a textile coloring technique using wax material. Most of the wax is obtained from the various plant extracts, in the form of damar, which is a wax derived from the damar tree. Animal sources of wax, or in Indonesian malam, include wasp and bee hives. The only batik from the Sumatran Island is Minangkabau Batik, which uses clay, in Indonesian called tanah liat. The fabric is first soaked in clay for a week, and is then washed and applied with natural colorings from various plants.
As an interesting fact, the Batik Pekalongan has now been recorded by the Guinness Book as the world’s largest batik. It is made on a piece fabric 1,000 meters long and created by 1,000 batik artisans who worked on the main highway of Pekalongan.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know the meaning of the word batik?
The word batik comes from a Javanese word amba, which means writing; and titik, which means dot. In other words, membatik means writing with a series of dots to make a beautiful pattern.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever worn or used batik fabric?
Leave us a comment telling us at IndonesianPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!