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  • Serendipity in Surakarta
  • Aqilah Zailan

Serendipity in Surakarta

Surakarta, better known as Solo is home to some of the best batik makers and finest batik pieces in the world. On first glance, Solo may look as if it has fallen from the grace it once enjoyed at its peak. The once bustling city is today almost a shadow of its former self. Streets remain quiet most of the day and buildings are half-shuttered, with peeling paint marking most of everything. Maybe we had caught the legendary batik city on a slow season; it was the monsoon after all. Nevertheless, we still serendipitously discovered some beautiful batik. 

Here's a story of how we found this pictured piece. 

It was raining heavily when we arrived in Surakarta. "Come, follow me.", said a man we chanced upon at random. Through the back lanes of Laweyan we walked, drenching our feet in countless puddles. Every door and window was closed as people took shelter from the rain. What could we possibly find here? As if reading our thoughts, the man suddenly stopped. "We are here." A woman's face appeared behind a small blue door while a child clung to her half asleep in a batik wrap. Beyond the door we could see more undone batik hanging from clothing lines. "Those are not ready yet. The wax takes much longer to dry during the rainy season." ⠀⠀

Surakarta, a sleepy city with countless hidden, undiscovered stories. If only you would give it a chance.

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  • Aqilah Zailan

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