It's quite common to see Malaysians and Indonesians fighting to 'claim' many traditional art forms and even food. The countries are located so close that it's not even surprising that there are a lot of similarities.
But now there may be a new player in the tug-of-war.
Over the weekend, Chinese news agency, China Xinhua News
, tweeted about batik,
calling it a "traditional Chinese craft'.
Netizens aren't pleased
The news triggered many Malaysians and Indonesians to whom batik
is a celebrated art form.
But there were also a few who tried to bring some sense into the discussion, saying that batik
or rather the technique of using wax and dye on textile, has existed for a long time and practiced in many parts of the world.
Right now, the Indonesians are leading in the "claim" game but some Malaysians have been giving their two cents too.
Was the Chinese news channel wrong?
It is a pretty bold claim by the Chinese news channel so we got curious and dug up a little on the origin of batik
and found out that nobody really knows where it came from.
While the term itself is said to orginate
from Javanese words amba, which means 'to write', and titik
which means dots, the process of using wax and dye on cloth is not uniquely Indonesian.
According to several sources
, including Wonderful Malaysia
, evidence of batik
technique have existed in the Middle East, Egypt, Peru, Japan, East Turkistan, West Africa, Sri Lanka, Europe, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and China as far back as 1,000 to 2,000 years ago.
An article on Batik Guild
suggests that batik
was practised in China even during the Sui Dynasty between 581 and 618 AD, and in Japan during the Nara period between 710 and 794 AD.
Of course, over time, it has become a form of art that has been honed and practiced most in Indonesia and Malaysia, but that doesn't change the history of it all.
So, was the Chinese news wrong? Guess not.