KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Indonesians are fuming on Twitter over a video clip that claimed batik as a traditional Chinese craft.
The 49-second clip produced by China’s Xinhua News Agency described batik as a traditional craft practiced by ethnic minorities in the provinces of Guizhou and Yunan in southwestern China.
Batik is a traditional textile made using wax-resist dyeing technique that is synonymous to the cultures of nations in the Nusantara region such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Batik is a traditional craft common among ethnic groups in China. Using melting wax and a spatula-like tool, people dye the cloth and heat it to get rid of the wax. Check out how the ancient craft evolves in modern times. #AmazingChina pic.twitter.com/4pNNECZziT— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) July 12, 2020
The clip which has garnered over 237,000 views and 1,800 retweets so far, received a barrage of disapproval from Indonesians.
“Batik is traditionally from Indonesia, not China. This is so wrong,” one user tweeted back.
“Why used the word batik instead of an original Chinese word?” another commented.
Batik originated in Indonesian Java and spread all across Asia including India and China ndo not twist this art as if it originated in China. It was from ancient times COPIED by China..— Srinidhi (@srinidhi24) July 12, 2020
Batik is taken from Javanese 'ambatik' means to mark with spots or dots.— Kiki (@KikiNmaKecilku) July 12, 2020
Be a country with pride, not just copied and claims other nation's properties.
Don't get crazy! Batik is our original tradisional art culture from a thousand year's ago!!— Menara Putih (@BlackYudhistira) July 12, 2020
I'll say it louder...BATIK is INDONESIAN'S ORIGINAL ART!
SIANG SIANG MALING SENG LUH!!#ChinaLied
Malaysia @ china trying to claim batik pic.twitter.com/BjBiLZxpMo— 🌠🌠🌠 (@doggudoggu) July 12, 2020
Others stepped in in defence of the clip, arguing that although the word batik was used, the technique did not originate from Indonesia.
I know that it's wrong that they're using the word 'Batik', but sorry lady, historically they're originating the technique.— ꦫꦢꦺꦤ꧀ ꦱ꧀ꦮꦱ꧀ꦠꦶꦏ (@thesvastika) July 12, 2020
Its root from Proto-Austronesian "bacik" which means tattoo, so it's not originally from Javanese either. Also wax resist dyeing of fabric is an ancient art form. It already existed in Egypt in the 4th century BC and again it's not originally from Javanese culture.— Yuni Ariane (@YuniAriane) July 12, 2020
Indonesian batik, which has roots in Java, was declared an intangible cultural heritage by Unesco in 2009.
This came after a heated cultural feud between the republic and neighbouring Malaysia after many Indonesians alleged that batik techniques were stolen by Malaysians.
Xinhua is China’s official state-run news agency and is the largest and most influential media organisation in the country.