Batik as the strength of Indonesia’s diplomacy

Indonesia is an archipelagic country rich in natural, human and cultural resources. With its diverse cultures, Indonesia is able to produce various local wisdoms in various regions, one of which is the art of batik. Batik is a form of artistic cultural expression that has a philosophical meaning in every style and motif with its existence at that time batik received world recognition as an original work of Indonesian culture by one of the UN special agencies UNESCO. With this acknowledgment, of course, it will have a positive impact on the Indonesian people from the recognition it is able to raise the spirit of their sense of nationalism towards the love of batik as a work of Indonesian cultural art. Batik is an original Indonesian product that is artistically beautiful and the process of making it. Indonesian batik is one of the oldest drawing arts in the world. So what is cyclical in a batik cloth has a very deep meaning, which contains a very high philosophical and meaning.

    In general, the term batik is an illustration of decorative motifs on fabrics, the technique of which is to use the dyeing process or commonly considered as a barrier or night dyeing process as a color barrier, followed by a color dyeing process using synthetic dyes, also with natural dyes. The process of batik is a means to meditate which is motivated by a traditional philosophy with high charisma, imbued with the value of harmony and majesty, both in the outer order and in the meaning of the spiritual order. But if you look deeper from the cultural point of view, a batik is not only beautiful and valuable from the outside, but inside it contains unique motifs and is very deep in meaning and philosophy for human life. The meaning and philosophy above generally consists of the content of educational sciences, such as morals, ethics, morals, human-human correlation, human-God correlation and so on.

   All batik motifs are created with various intentions and good wishes. none of them have bad goals and hopes. however, each motif has its own use, when it should be used. socialization of the form of ornament is also necessary so that when using it avoid embarrassing mistakes, for example using it in an inverted position. Value is an abstraction from a set of behavior or behavior that is carried out by someone. Values ​​are divided into various kinds, one of the values ​​inherent in a person is a moral value. What is meant by moral values ​​is a form of objective illustration of the truth side that is carried out by someone in a social environment.

  This definition of moral enlightenment is in accordance with various discussions of the explanation of moral terms, for example in Greek “Etika”, Arabic “Akhlak”, and in Indonesian “Kesuliaan” Batik motifs have their own philosophy and meaning. This is because the motifs on the batik cloth are created according to the beliefs of the people who come from the batik cloth. Some motifs on batik cloth are also said to only be used by the royal or royal family in ancient times. This is of course because of the unsynchronized philosophy that comes from batik cloth and can be used by all circles. The existence of its own philosophy and meaning in batik cloth makes this cloth not just a cloth used to cover the body, but has a deep meaning for human beings. There are several types of Indonesian batik that have deep meaning and philosophy and have a high artistic taste.[1]

    The government’s efforts to promote batik nationally is one of the first step in promoting batik internationally. In government President Soeharto in 1994, the government had promoted batik by giving batik to the heads of state who were present at APEC which was held in Jakarta. However, batik at that time was not yet popular among the people. The promotion carried out by the government is also not as much as after the recognition from UNESCO. After batik became increasingly popular in the country, the government continued to carry out promotion internationally. In carrying out international promotions, there are efforts made by the government such as holding a batik exhibition at the Indonesian Embassy in Jakarta Washington D.C., United States in 2011, an exhibition themed “Indonesia Batik: World Heritage” was held to appreciate cultural heritage and introduce batik which has become a world cultural heritage[2].

    In this era of globalization, diplomacy between countries continues to develop, in contrast to the era of globalization previously that made hard power the strength and influence of a country. Public diplomacy is one of the developing diplomacy in this globalization era.where the form of communication between countries is not only established through the government but covers more broadly, namely government to society. Compete with other countries such as South Korea with K-Pop music and Thailand with gastrodiplomacy namely introduce their culture through food. The spread of nation branding is also necessary this is done in order to spread that batik is Indonesian culture.

    The author supports research in explaining public diplomacy by its relationship with other variables, then about how public diplomacy and the nation branding becomes a link in the government to build the country’s image. The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Powers Part: The Case of Indonesia by Ellen Huijgh, at the beginning explained that public diplomacy was used to improve international image started in the West during the cold war and attracted attention in Asia since the 1990s. Indonesia’s reputation internationally had collapsed due to the crisis economy in 1988. However, after the crisis Indonesia rose again become a dynamic country with a strong economy. But Indonesia is still not can overcome problems such as infrastructure, corruption and bureaucracy that hinder in the future so that it affects Indonesia in increasing its profile international Indonesian public diplomacy is characterized as; give and accept by democratizing international policy, coexistence with Islam, democracy and modern society and its “intermestic” ( approach between international and domestic).[3]


[2] Sujatmoko, Ivan. (2011). Seberkas Sejarah: Sekolah Jaman Kolonial Belanda. [online]. Diakses dari: [11 November 2015].

[3] Huijgh, Ellen, “The Public Diplomacy of Emerging Powers Part 2 : The Case of Indonesia”, CPD USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Anneberg School, FIGUEROA, 2016

Silvia Jultikasari Febrian
Silvia Jultikasari Febrian
My name is Silvia Jultikasari Febrian and I am a student of International Relations at the Islamic University of Indonesia . I really like international topics , research . technology , science , and socio - culture.