Embassy workshop offers hands-on batik experience

The Indonesian art and culture of batik and wire jewelry was shared yesterday in Phnom Penh during a workshop at the Indonesian Embassy where participants tried their hand at traditional handicrafts.

Indonesian Ambassador Sudirman Haseng said the one-day workshop is part of Indonesia’s socio-cultural diplomacy in Cambodia.

The batik workshop took place in the morning and the wire jewelry workshop in the afternoon.

Workshop participants came from a variety of backgrounds, including academics, entrepreneurs, batik importers and the next generation of batik artisans.

“One of the goals of Indonesian socio-cultural diplomacy is to promote Indonesian drawn and stamped batik, which was designated by UNESCO in 2009 as Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, because all process is manual and uses traditional tools,” Sudirman said.

He said that batik is not only a cultural heritage in Indonesia, but has become a creative industry that supports millions of people and has won admirers from various sections of society as well as people of all ages. , not only in Indonesia but all over the world.

He added that the number of batik artisans continues to grow rapidly across Indonesia and that batik is increasingly being worn by many people in other countries.

“As President Joko Widodo said on National Batik Day in 2019, our next task is to ensure that the young generation of Indonesia continues to love batik and invite the global community to admire and wear the batik,” Sudirman said.

After the Ambassador’s welcome speech, workshop participants tried their hand at hand-drawn Indonesian batik using the traditional pen-like tool called a inclination. It takes about a year to a year and a half of practice to produce a good traditional piece.

The workshop was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Ministry of Industry, Indonesia-Cambodia Friendship School and Indonesian nationals residing in Phnom Penh.

They were instructed by trainer Venny Afwany Alamsyah and many participants were amazed when they used the pen inclination draw pictures on silk.

The principal of the Indonesia-Cambodia Friendship School, Eng Ban, said he and six students attended the workshop.

Ban said he loves Indonesian culture which is unique and special.

“I hope my students can learn batik and wire jewelry and share it with their friends,” he said, adding that it was difficult at first.

He hoped it would be easier the next time he tried it.

Chhean Sreynich, an 8th grade student from the Indonesia-Cambodia Friendship School, said she was really surprised to see the wonderful culture and art of Indonesia.

“I really appreciate Indonesian batik. It takes several months of practice, requiring a lot of patience to master batik,” she said, adding that it was her first time to visit a cultural workshop at the Indonesian embassy and that she hoped to go back.

Venerable Sreang Piseth of Porthinhean Pagoda in Phnom Penh loved making wire jewelry and said it was the third time he had attended an Indonesian cultural event at the embassy.