President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono have received “kriya pusaka” awards from the Indonesian Batik Foundation for their efforts to develop national batik. “These are tokens of appreciation for their effort to develop batik and local wisdom,” chief of the Indonesian Batik Foundation Yultin Ginandjar Kartasamita said at the opening of national batik show 2013 here on Wednesday.
The President in his address said he and his wife had made efforts to develop batik because of their love for the traditional art. Batik which is now known all over the world is an Indonesian icon and pride. It not only belongs to certain circles but also to all layers of the community in Indonesia and the rest of the world, he said.
Batik is also one of the engines of the national economic growth. At least 3.5 million people are employed in the batik industry, he said. The batik show which will last from July 17 to 21 brings together 422 participants from various regions in the country.
Also attending the opening ceremony were Industry Minister MS Hidayat, Cooperatives and Small and Medium Scale Businesses Minister Syarif Hasan, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, Tourism and Creative Economy Marie Elka Pangestu, and Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo.