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Proposal to put batik on UNESCO 'Intangible Cultural Heritage' list
24
Jun '09
Indonesia recently put up a proposal to have batik on the UNESCO's list of 'Intangible Cultural Heritage', which has received a green-signal from a six-country team at the UN body. A 24-country committee will take a decision in the month of September, regarding considering batik amid the world's living cultural traditions worthy of preservation.

There are about 100 items in the list, at present, with 70 others waiting for approval, including batik. The Indonesia's deputy ambassador to Unesco, Mr. Dindin Wahyudin is optimistic about batik's inclusion into the list.

Batik prints are still common and the local designers are churning out the trendy batik garments targeting the youth market. Batik is found in 19 of Indonesia's 33 provinces.

In Indonesia batik motifs carry much symbolic meaning, so UNESCO's recognition for this will fuel the efforts to preserve the tradition of batik-making, added batik expert.

It has also been hoped that this will also help buyers to make a difference between real batik and batik printed fabric. Country's age-old batik industry has also been under the threat from foreign copies, for instance China-made batik, which have been retailed for about half the price of local cotton batik.

According to the estimates of Indonesia's Industry Ministry, last year foreign batik made up 10 percent of the domestic market. Batik has been cited as Indonesia's 'Intellectual property' in a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communication.

Responding to the queries, regarding batiks, from the local communities, the Indonesian embassies held talks on the batik tradition in Namibia and Qatar in recent times. Also one of the officials met members of the American Women's Association to highlight the difference between handmade and machine-printed batik.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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