Nelson Mandela and Indonesian Batik

Dheri Agriesta    •    Rabu, 24 Jun 2015 17:58 WIB
Nelson Mandela and Indonesian Batik
Batik outfit. Antara / Arif Firmansyah, Jakarta: National Batik is not only recognized locally, but also internationally. Vice President Jusuf Kalla appreciated the special donations of the figures introducing Batik, such as former President Soeharto who established Batik as an official outfit of APEC in Bogor, West Java.

He said he remembered the efforts of Nelson Mandela, who initially introduced Batik in the international forum.

"Mandela was the first who wore Batik at the United Nations assembly. We respect Mandela who wore Batik in a full international forum," JK said in his speech at Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Senayan, Central Jakarta, Wednesday (6/24/2015).

JK had taken use of trade opportunity with several national Batik business people when he was the Indonesian Minister of Industry and Trade within the 1999-2000 period.

JK went to South Africa to establish the marketing cooperation of Batik in the region. He had also planned to build a South African Batik gallery, but the dream was unfulfilled due to the public view on Nelson Mandela.

"South African Trade Minister at the time said it was hard to build Batik shops, as it was known as the 'Mandela Show'. There, Mandela was like a god, and nobody wanted to top him," JK said, welcomed by laughter.

JK also mentioned that Indonesian government since the former president Soeharto's era had routinely delivered Batik as gifts to late Mandela. The habits of presenting the gifts continued to the next administration.

"Batik comes from Mr. Harto's era, who sent five shirts within a year, even a dozen," JK said. (Eps)


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