Friday, August 12, 2011

Batik and Building Global Friendship

CISV held its “Annual International Meeting” in Bali, Indonesia from 2 to 7 August. 260 delegates from 44 countries attended this event to exchange ideas, sharing information and knowledge, and interact socially as well as learn bout the traditions and culture of the host country.  Mutual cooperation or “gotong royong” in Bahasa -the Indonesian language, was the theme for this event. I was fortunate to have been invited to share some of my ideas on the “Concept and Practice of Gotong Royong” in Indonesia; this also gave me the opportunity to witness the participants’ enthusiasm and friendship environment.

This note is intended to share with you an cultural activity carried out by a group of CISV Annual International Meeting participants; this has not only impressed me but it also made me realize the potential of batik. 30 participants from all walks of life –lawyer, accountant, development practitioner, etc, and from different nationalities (Asia, Europe, America, and Latin America) came to Batik Popiler 2’s premises to learn about the process of making a batik painting. The activity started with a Batik Popiler 2 staff providing the group with an explanation on the batik process; a second staff gave them hands on demonstration on how to actually make a batik painting; and then the action started!

Briefly, each and all the members of this group received a piece of cloth and pencil and they started by sketching the batik painting design; they then waxed the drawing by line and area according to the intended colors, and finally the dyeing was done. They then concluded their visit to “Popiler 2” by going inside the shop to see the different batik styles and representations. Since the batik painting they have made required a couple of hours to dry properly, the finished products were sent later to them to their hotel. 

This experience lasted over an hour and the staffs of “Popiler 2” were really impressed by the interaction within the group, obvious enjoyment of their experience, and greater appreciation on how much the process of making batik takes! Their motivation and esprit de corps among them to go on with the process was particularly noticeable! When one of them would make a mistake, all of them would give their fellow-group friendly laughs and comments and some of them would actually provide her/him with assistance so that s/he could go ahead with the process.
CISV Batik Workshop

Reflecting upon this experience one can help but think of the value of friendship, the importance of building global friendship and how group batik making can unite people of gender, background and professional diversity. The lesson learned from this activity is that it takes positive thinking, positive affect and positive behavior to build and strengthen friendship; the activity of CISV group batik making has proved it! Congratulation to CISV on your noble mission of “Building Global Friendship” as well as on your initiative of promoting a cultural activity of Indonesia!  “Batik Popiler 2” welcomes more groups in the future to hands on going though the process of batik making and building friendship.  

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