Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 20, 2019) — Through the instrumentality of the non-resident Ambassador of Indonesia to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Priyo Iswanto, a Textiles, Clothing and Fashion teacher at the Charlestown Secondary School was last year offered a one-year scholarship to study the art of batik making in Indonesia.
“We have shared our experience by inviting St. Kitts and Nevis fellows to Indonesia for sharing our best practices,” said Ambassador Iswanto. “Last year we invited one student, Ms Mavis Parris, to study batik for one year in Surakarta, Java (the home of batik), Indonesia and we look forward to receiving more fellows from St. Kitts and Nevis to study in Indonesia not only to study batik making but other studies of the students’ interest.”
Ambassador Iswanto, who is based in Bogota, Colombia, made the remarks on Tuesday September 17 at a ceremony held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort in celebration of Indonesia’s 74th anniversary of Independence, which was also attended by Governor General His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, the Federal Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon Mark Brantley, and the Federal Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Hon Ian Patches Liburd.
“Inviting Ms Parris to study batik in Indonesia was part of women empowerment,” observed Ambassador Iswanto. “In my country batik is normally made by women, mainly single parents, in their own house generating self-employment and improving their livelihood. To appreciate and support them, the government of Indonesia also recognises batik as our national and official costume.”
According to Ambassador Iswanto, who was accompanied by Mrs Iswanto and embassy officials, for batik’s uniqueness UNESCO has recognised it as ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ since 2nd October 2009. At the St. Kitts Marriott in the room where the function was being held, a special corner had been reserved to dedicate one decade of batik being recognised by UNESCO. Ms Mavis Parris was also displaying some of her work.
Earlier in the day (on Tuesday September 17) the Republic of Indonesia, which established diplomatic relations with the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in 2014, had opened a consulate in Basseterre and appointed Mr Faron Lawrence as its Honorary Consul in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Indonesia is committed to strengthening its relations with St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Ambassador Iswanto. “Today, with pleasure and enthusiasm, I announce here that the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, has appointed Mr Faron Tenison Lawrence, President of Chamber of Industry and Commerce, a prominent figure and dearly friend in this country to be an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Basseterre.”
Indonesia’s 74th Anniversary of Independence celebrations at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort were attended by members of the resident diplomatic corps and several visiting diplomats who were in the country for the observance of St. Kitts and Nevis’ 36th anniversary of independence that were being celebrated under the theme ‘Unity, Transform, Enrich: Uplifting Communities for Independence 36’.