Elderly Learn Batik-Making: Semarang, Central Java

There seems to be a stigma that when you reach the elder years and your body won’t do what you want it to, then, you are considered a right-off!. Such crap seems not to be the case in Semarang.

Apparently in the coastal city, elderly people are learning the skills of Batik-Making courtesy of the Dharma Wulan Foundation as Suherdjoko reports.

Senior citizens learn batik-making

Some 300 senior citizens from Jakarta, Bandung, Bogor, Sukabumi, Purwokerto, Semarang and Surabaya learned how to make batik in Wirokuto, Kemplong, Wiradesa, Pekalongan regency last Saturday. They were all associated with the Dharma Wulan Foundation.

Chairman of Dharma Wulan Foundation Pekalongan chapter Barlim Soebardjo said he organized the batik training in the coastal town to introduce the local culture to the fabric.

“I found in Wiradesa a batik-making tradition worth introducing. There we can see quality batik and at the same time learn batik-making,” he said.

During the training, the senior citizens witnessed the process of turning a piece of plain white fabric into batik — beginning with motif-making, dipping, to dyeing or coloring. They also witnessed the dipping of kimono fabric and natural coloring. Finally they learned how to make a batik handkerchief at the batik company that has just won an ASEAN Handicrafts Seal of Excellence Award.

Wirokuto Batik demonstrated that batik is not only a work of art and a commodity, but also a daily cultural activity for the community in the northern coastal area of Central Java.

Batik-making skills are passed down from one generation to another so that more and more people are involved in the home industry.

The Dharma Wulan entourage also watched a documentary called Enchantment of Batik, toured an exhibition, learned how to take care of batik cloth, listened to a presentation about the philosophy of batik, learned how to make hand-drawn and hand-stamped batik as well as batik quality control, along with enjoying special Pekalongan food and snacks.