A rich display of colour helped promote Indonesian culture at the Nomad Gallery on Saturday.
Each stall was heavily adorned with traditional Indonesian embroidered cloth which included table cloths, handkerchiefs, and scarves in addition to various hand-painted items.
These, as explained by the woman manning the stall, are called “tapis” – a traditional weaving style from Lampung, the cloth consists of striped, naturally coloured embroidery with delicately woven gold thread in flowery motifs.
The impromptu workshops held at the centre of the gallery where ten men and women from all age groups came together to learn the ancient style of art, Batik, operated on a tangent from traditional cultural events. Large pieces of white cloth spread out before them as they patiently painted floral motifs with a mixture of wax and dye.
Large brooches styled as butterflies, flowers and in one departure from convention, a handmade stone owl, were all available for purchase.
Also on display and for purchase, was silver jewellery with small glass and silver tea sets. To complete the cultural display, Indonesian snacks were also available with tea along with Indonesian banana cake and wafers.
The event was organised by the Indonesian Women Association (IWA) and the proceeds, according to curator Nageen Hyat, will go to charities for the poor.
Butar Latuconsina, IWA chairperson and wife to the Indonesian ambassador, provided an introduction to the various ethnic pieces.
She felt that the introduction of such activities could boost bilateral trade between both countries.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, she said that since her arrival here she has worked hard to introduce her culture to Pakistanis.
“Patriotism is not something that can be trained but has to come from within; pride in one’s heritage makes one proud of their country,” she said.
Visitors, mostly women, were observed purchasing the colourful table cloths sold at reasonable prices, often bundled with related items. Keychains, hand-stitched handbags and colourful summer ponchos were also on display.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.