The Jakarta Post
The Klaten Lurik Carnival (KLC) was a festive spectacle as it made its way along Jl. Pemuda, Klaten, Central Java, on Saturday.
Hundreds of participants took part in the annual carnival presenting a range of creations made out of lurik fabric, accompanied by dances and music. As previously, this fourth KLC was staged in conjunction with the regency's anniversary celebration, the 214th this year.
Lurik, the traditional fabric of Klaten, specifically from Pedan, was showcased in a variety of creations. The participants transformed the fabric into attractive costumes, pairing them with music and dances. Hundreds of participants in 36 contingents, each representing government and private institutions, gathered for a battle of creativity in order to present the best creation in lurik fabric.
The parade spanned around 2 kilometers starting from the Juang 45 Monument to the Pandanaran Building at Jl. Pemuda, the city of Klaten’s main road. Along these roads, the participants showed off their lurik creations, filling the parade with musical attractions and traditional dances.
“We want the KLC to not only to serve as a carnival and entertainment platform, but also as a means of promotion for the lurik home industries spread across Klaten. We want lurik to go national just like batik,” Klaten Regent Sri Mulyani told The Jakarta Post ahead of the carnival’s opening.
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Thousands of spectators crowded Jl. Pemuda, the main carnival route, as they enthusiastically witnessed the parade of lurik creations. Not only from Klaten, the visitors also came from other cities, such as Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Boyolali and Semarang.
“This carnival is amazing, showing classic lurik fabrics that were turned into modern costumes. I came to Klaten because I was curious about this carnival,” said Kartika, 34, from Semarang.
Klaten Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports Agency head Pantoro said the KLC was initiated to develop the cultural and production potential of lurik. The KLC, he added, involved hundreds of lurik craftsmen in Klaten.
“Currently, the production of lurik is not only in Pedan, but also in several districts, such as Cawas and Bayar,” he said.
Besides Pedan, the last two years have seen the district of Cawas become a center of lurik in Klaten. Pantoro added that the KLC was also an effort to preserve the ancestral cultural heritage.
In Klaten, lurik came to the fore centuries ago. In previous times, the fabric, made in a striped pattern and dominated by black and white, was only worn by people of the lower-class, such as drivers, soldiers and servants in the palace. But now, lurik is worn by many people of all classes. The designs and colors are also more variable.
Other than offering plain designs and matching colors, lurik nowadays also has patchwork and painted designs, and even embroidery. Several micro, small and medium enterprises have even combined lurik with batik and woven fabric.
“Lurik is Klaten’s traditional fabric, so it must be preserved. If not us, who else is going to maintain this ancestral cultural heritage?” said a Klaten resident, 23-year-old Ria. (anm/kes)