Mr. Soeharto, Indonesian President Who Promote Batik to The World

As a country that has a diverse culture of clothing, customs and traditions that have been passed down from time immemorial must be continuously maintained. Not only the former is maintained, but one of them is batik. Long before we are in this millennium era, we are back to the future to see characters who preserve batik even introduce to all corners of the world.
Previously, because of our discussion about the development of batik culture in the era of President Soeharto, for it is not necessary to discuss in addition to those related to batik, especially politics. Because we can not mix culture with other substances that we do not understand.

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Introduce, Mr. President Soeharto, the 2nd President of the Republic of Indonesia, who for 32 years led Indonesia. For some people it is only his famous political career, but behind all that there is something that we think is very proud. It’s up to you, in our view he is a batik hero. To prove that he is a person who also fell in love with batik, to introduce batik to the world, lets check it out.
He started wearing batik while welcoming visits from abroad and state visits from neighboring countries. Because he and Mrs. Tien Soeharto are Javanese¬† which is very close to batik culture. Like when entertaining the arrival of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in Jogjakarta in 1974. At that time Mr Whitlam is a close friend of President Soeharto, and his wife Mrs. Tien Soeharto made a special batik clothes for Mr. Whitlam and Ms. Tien’s assistant who supervised the batik making said “Exclusive!”

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Batik is special for him, why, how not Mr. Whitlam body is as high as 2.4 meters is very high so it is not the character of the Indonesian who is not up to that high, a little difficult to be made batik clothes. Mr. Whitlam wore a long-sleeved one when visiting Borobudur Temple, and a short sleeve when leaving Jogja to return home. And the manufacture when the long arm requires a 5 meter fabric, while short sleeves require batik 3.5 meters, when batik cloth only about 2.5 meters.

Likewise with the president of the United States Ronald Reagan and Lady Nancy’s on 29 April to 2 May1968, President Soeharto also make batik to him with his wife while visiting Bali. In addition, many officials of neighboring countries who are also President Suharto suggested to use batik when visiting Indonesia. Like when he gave souvenirs to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Or the Prime Minister of Australia at that time also often came to Indonesia for a visit or just unofficial talks with President Soeharto.¬†Batik at that time became famous and known to the world as a typical culture of Indonesia although before that batik is already a tradition of hereditary culture.

Did You Know?
Batik motif used by President Reagan is batik motif Sidoluhur

Even so, President Soeharto has not used batik during his overseas trips. But when hosted in his own country, almost everyone is “dibatiki” by president Soeharto, like the astronaut launcher satellite palapa, and almost all ASEAN leaders also wearing batik by him.

And at its peak when in 1994, in Bogor West Java. With the help of famous batik desaigner Iwan Tirta made 17 heads of APEC participants all wearing batik. With the motive of one country each with a combination of Javanese touch style make the conference more memorable for the people of Indonesia. Including the then President of the United States. Bill Clinton as the president of the United States who come to Indonesia also “dibatiki” by President Soeharto. In addition there is also the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew who is a close friend of President Soeharto when a visit to Indonesia wearing batik and looks very elegant.

Indonesia's President Suharto shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport in Jakarta Indonesia’s President Suharto (R) shakes hands with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport in Jakarta August 28, 1990. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni (INDONESIA)[/caption]

Since then, for the services and ideas of President Soeharto, it has become a tradition at every subsequent APEC summit in Indonesia that all the heads of state present will wear the host national outfit during a joint photo, but not during official talks. Differences with batik used at the APEC II Summit in Bogor, which is worn during a serious event as well as at a photo event together.

Indirectly President Soeharto has been trying to promote batik as the original identity of Indonesian society that he introduced to the whole world. Not something small in our opinion because the development of batik if the government which see one eye, useless. With so new tradition as a country that use batik naturally if the state visit another nation will get a new experience using batik as well as get original souvenir of Indonesia.

President Soeharto did not use batik when visiting abroad, perhaps in order to respect the culture of other countries that have definitely had their own culture. The President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela who fell in love with batik and promote to the whole world that we will discuss next.

Now, Mr. Soeharto and his wife, Mrs. Tien Soeharto has been resting peacefully at Astana Giribangun. But the spirit of introducing batik into an International icon will continue to take us to the next generation.
Thank you for reading, hopefully we can also preserve and promote Indonesian batik in the eyes of the world.

Regards

-prajnaparamita-

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