Written by: M Roisul Ashdaq Al Arif, S.Pd

Indonesia located in South East Asia that geographically in the middle between Asia and Australia continent also astronomically located at 9 degrees nothern latitude until 11 degrees southern latitude and 95 degrees eastern longtitude until 141 degrees eastern longtitude, those informations are basically we learnt from social science since elementary school whereas Indonesia has rich other things such as resource, nature, seas, cultures, foods, heritages, and many more.

One of the most interesting aspect to be discussed is about heritage, according to Merriam webster heritage is something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor, it inherit to our generation from our ancestor in the past in order to tell our generation that the ancestor had very strong identity. In helping shape our identity, our heritage becomes part of what we are. Our expression of this identity shows others what we value; it highlights our values and priorities.

Our heritage provides clues to our past and how our society has evolved. It helps us examine our history and traditions and enables us develop an awareness about ourselves. It helps us understand and explain why we are the way we are.

Recorded by International heritage council heritage divided into some aspect, those are:

the tangible – our historical sites, buildings, monuments, objects in museum artefacts and archives.

the natural – our waterways, landscapes, woodlands, bogs, uplands, native wildlife, insects, plants, trees, birds and animals.

the intangible – our customs, sports, music, dance, folklore, crafts, skills, and knowledge.

Looking to those divided heritage, Indonesia has special good at intangible and I want to call it as Batik. Who do not know about batik?. Most of Indonesian wear it, use it, and make it as their national identity. Wear batik at formal events seems must it shows that Indonesians are proud with it.

According to expart.or.id the word batik is thought to be derived from the word ‘ambatik’ which translated means ‘a cloth with little dots’. The suffix ‘tik’ means little dot, drop, point or to make dots. Batik may also originate from the Javanese word ‘amba’ which has meaning as something wide or the media to paint on it and ‘tritik’ which describes a resist process for dying where the patterns are reserved on the textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie dye techniques. Another Javanese phase for the mystical experience of making batik is “mbatik manah” which means “drawing a batik design on the heart”. Batik is not only the art of drawing, waxing, and dyeing in order to make a good quality batik but it also has deep philosophies from our ancestors that could be learnt to millennial generation.

Indonesian people as the official owner of batik must be proud and having an owning feeling of it, this feeling could be done by these options:

  1. Stay inherit the way of create batik to the next generations
  2. Wearing batik in several important meetings
  3. Not only important meetings but also batik could be worn in casual way
  4. Creating eco-friendly batik to take care our environment
  5. Assigning the National day of Batik

In this occasion the writer will highlight the options number 4 and number 5 as the special points for discussion.

Nowadays people all around the world are facing the serious problem about environment such as managing trash, unfertilized soil, pollution, plastic nightmare and many more which all those problems are caused by human fault that We could not deny it whereas the nature or our environment have been giving us everything to us to live peacefully. Something that we have to remember that if we take care of our nature so that the nature will take care of us and the opposite will happen too in the future.

Batik is also known as very big fashion and fabric industry that economically could give benefit to our society whereas we also have to take care about batik from environment side. People should realize that batik color is made from chemical thing that is could give negative impact to environment such as soil and water pollution. We might still remember an awful disaster happened in Pekalongan City that there was ‘colorful’ flood in February 2021 in this city called ‘The World City of Batik’ and the ‘colorful’ water itself was coming from chemical color for batik. From this disaster could be concluded that some people do not care much about their environment and only think about how much they can earn from batik itself.

Some alternatives can be used for replacing chemical color in Batik with color from nature that are eco-friendly and do not give negative impacts to the environment such as:

  1. Mangrove seed could be natural color for brown color it could be done by drying mangrove seed in high temperature in three days, after become brown mangrove seed must be boiled in hot water for three until four hours and finally brown color is ready for batik and from natural source.
  2. Turmeric could be natural color for yellow color it could be done by peeling and boil it in high temperature and yellow color is ready to be used for Batik
  3. Dracaena leaf could be natural color green color. Another color also can we use for making our batik more beautiful and the important is all colors are produced from natural resources.

We cannot deny that natural color has more cost than chemical color, natural color is also harder to find than the opposite but at least our effort to make our earth cleaner greener, and more eco-friendly than before make it worth.

The last but not least government decision to make batik as national heritage must be appreciated because by this action Indonesian societies could learn how to more aware with their heritage from their ancestors. This decision is proudly shown that Indonesia heritage is richer than other nations thing and batik is also shown that our nation has strong unity as one caused, we secure it together like amba and tritik which mix together become masterpiece namely BATIK .

Happy National Batik Day!

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