Enthusiasm and curiosity were on every guest’s face when they began using the "canting" on pieces of small prepared fabric. Another expression of amazement buzzed in the room when the instructor distributed the finished fabrics which had been dyed in coloring solution.
Astonishment filled the room when Venny Alamsyah from Batik House Indonesia told the audience that it took about six to eight months to hand paint a-2.5 meter fabric. The presentation on the ins and outs about Batik by her marked the opening of "Noche de Batik" (Batik Night) at Melia Cohiba Hotel, Havana, Cuba (22/10).
After the presentation on Batik, the guests were invited to try to do Batik using the "canting" (traditional wax applicator to draw batik pattern). Enthusiasm and curiosity were on every guest’s face when they began using the "canting" on pieces of small prepared fabric. Another expression of amazement buzzed in the room when the instructor distributed the finished fabrics which had been dyed in coloring solution, to those who tried doing Batik. Beautiful! Amazing! Everyone said these two words almost simultaneously.
Other guests, who did not do Batik, seemed to immerse themselves on the beauty of Batik’s motifs and patterns that were displayed attractively by the ladies from the Indonesian Women Association in Havana (Dharma Wanita Persatuan Havana). Many Cuban guests asked questions on the meaning and philosophy behind each Batik’s pattern.
After trying to do Batik and enjoying Batik displays, the guest had dinner entertained by pampering Indonesian traditional dances; Pendet Dance, Klana Mask Dance, and Peacock Dance which were performed beautifully by two Indonesian dancers, Visarah Novicca Afridiani and Sera Dewi Pradita from Padjajaran University, Indonesia. Two Cuban dancers also performed Jaipong Dance of West Java. The entertainment did not stop there, a Cuban jazz music group, Cubaneo, also gave their best performance.
As a finale, Bambang Sumardiyono from "Batik Nakula Sadewa" presented his Batik fashion designs, performed so elegantly in the catwalk by Cuban models as well as ladies from Indonesian Women Association in Havana. Bambang’s design was very interesting as it displayed the versatility of Batik, both as casual and formal clothes.
The occasion was the first time that Batik specially promoted in Cuba. The "Noche de Batik" was attended by more than 130 guests from various walks of life in Cuba, such as government and political party officials, member of parliament, businessmen, artists, ambassadors and member of diplomatic corps. The Embassy of Indonesia in Havana organized this special occasion in cooperation with two Cuban institutions, namely Casa de Asia and ICAP (Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos). The activity was not only intended to promote Indonesian Batik which recently was designated by the UNESCO as one of the Intangible World Heritage but also as the preliminary activity to commemorate the 50th bilateral relations of Indonesia and Cuba in the 2010. (Source: Indonesian Embassy in Havana)