Muscat: Beautifully dressed Indonesian women modelled batik designs and performed traditional dances at an event for the Ambassadors' Wives Group.
The event was hosted by Nilam Larasati Sukanto, wife of the Indonesian ambassador, at her residence. She explained that Indonesian batik cloth has been designated as 'Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity' by UNESCO, and emphasised the need to promote it in an era when the skills to make it are being lost.
"This traditional cultural heritage is near extinction…so UNESCO invited the government of Indonesia to take every effort to preserve batik," said Sukanto.
In accordance with the government's plan to promote batik, Sukanto had the models show a variety of traditional and contemporary fashions based on batik designs, some of which take up to a year to make.
She explained how the wax-resistant dying techniques used in batik can be used for several types of material, from silk and cotton to cloth made from banana leaf fibre.
While the fashion show and dancing provided some insight into batik, Sukanto also took the opportunity to encourage her guests to travel to her homeland.
"To see more designs, you need to visit Indonesia," she said with a smile.