Idyll

Idyll, Beloved,
Found in rural area;
Hidden heritage—

Saw a package in front of my door today. It had been there for several days as instructed to the courier while I was away for a biz trip. Three pieces of jarik batik (long fabric with traditional batik patterns) from Yogyakarta were delivered safe and sound.

Idyllic gift for myself for the hard work in the past one year. Thank you, dear self! 💕

💕 thank you
this handmade batik was crafted by Mbah Suhir, a 93 year old batik maker – truntum background with sido asih (combination of 2 classic patterns) – I’m blessed!

Truntum (depiction of thousands of jasmine flowers) symbolises life under divine guidance and peaceful life fragrant like jasmine. Sido asih symbolises living in love and compassion.

210*120 cm – shorter jarik is for male as he won’t put any pleats when wearing it
the one-sided black “sido asih” handmade by another senior batik maker (still trying to find her name) – I’ll keep this beauty with love 🥰
250*105 cm, classic batik – longer jarik is for female as she will make some pleats at one end of the cloth to beautify the lower apparel

While sido asih pattern bears common symbols everywhere in Java island, the color and the strokes show its place of origin. Black and thin lining is originated from Solo, white and bold lining is originated from Yogyakarta.

“nitik cakar ayam” two-sided classic batik handmade by Ibu Suminah (80 years old batik maker) 🥰

Nitik (literally means making dots/points) is an original batik pattern in Bantul district, Yogyakarta. Nitik “cakar ayam” (literally means chicken claw) symbolises someone who is good at providing good life for his/her family (hard working, prosper and wise).

Two-sided batik is such a luxury to have in modern day. It doesn’t always show the price; but it is more about the maker has to block both sides of the fabric and it doubles the time of craftsmanship. Most batik is one-sided nowadays.

Can’t wait to directly thank the batik makers for their love to Javanese culture.

Matur sembah nuwun, Mbah. Mugi penjenengan dipunbarokahi dyaning Gusti Allah Kang Maha Agung. 🙏🏼💕

Alfatihah

Batik Gringsing

Time travels with you
To where good memories sit,
Waiting to rejoice.

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When I was a girl, I got sick very often. Yet what I remember the most isn’t the pain but is how my family would take care of me. Of course they medically treated me either at home or hospitalised, but there was a unique way I can never forget what my mother, father and siblings did extra.

My father would chant Javanese mantra that would calm me down. My mother would wrap me with a sheet of batik cloth before putting the next thicker blanket. And of course siblings especially sisters would sleep with me the whole night.

What Javanese mantra chanted by father? Oh can’t remember! What batik, I definitely remember it and now own it for the same need; covering myself with batik gringsing when sick.

1.2mx2.3m batik cloth with gringsing background pattern of flower bouquets

Gringsing is one of the oldest batik background patterns in Java. It is thousands of tiny square with a dot in the center symbolising “sedulur papat kalima pancer” (literally means 4 siblings and 1 core as the fifth) the cosmic balance of human reality in Javanese wisdom. And through the philosophy it is believed that when a Javanese human is sick, s/he is cosmically imbalanced and needs to be balanced. Physically s/he is medically treated, metaphysically s/he is cured with gringsing the balance symbol.

Gringsing is an acronym of gring or gering (sick, not well, ill) and sing (not); gringsing means not sick anymore. Oh! That simple! Made by hand! Oh! Not that simple!

What a blessed human being!

wrapping body when catching fever doesn’t replace paracetamol, it’s to recall the memory of how my family well treated me when I was sick 🥰
detail of gringsing: a tiny squarish scale with a dot in the center – sedulur 4 ka-5 pancer