I am very pleased that Indonesia is set to be this year’s host for the 7th ASEAN Traditional Textile Symposium.

Traditional fabric are Southeast Asia’s cultural heritage over the centuries and have played an important role in the everyday life of the people. They are used to fashion a variety of objects, starting from everyday clothing and items, to sacred and ceremonial costumes for special rituals, such as marriages or funerals.

Each ASEAN Member State has a unique and specific character of textile with their own weaving process which creates beautiful fabrics. This is just like ASEAN it self where the unity of its members creates a beautiful harmony in cooperation.

The everlasting traditional textiles are produces by a numerous range of techniques, using a rich variation of natural materials, and depicting multi-diverse patterns and designs. Formed from techniques in painted, dyed, pasted or embroidered and imported materials like silk, weaving, ikat, batik and embroidery and beautiful patterns inspired by traditional beliefs, tradition and surroundings.

The textiles of Southeast Asia reflect their own regional diversity, yet also incorporate some features from outside the region. The textiles are also influenced by the region’s closest external stimuli, for example China and India, but influence also arrived from exciting raw materials from places as far as Euorpe and the Islamic world. This interplay between cultures and traditions of Southeast Asia and external cultural influences has played a crucial part in the evolving nature of the region’s textiles.

I believe that the 7th ASEAN Traditional Symposium will support the new generations of traditional textile artisans in Southeast Asia along with the mission of advancing knowledge of traditional textile, foster a collective enthusiasm for Southeast Asian textiles, and develop a strategy to increase productivity and quality of textiles. I wish every success for this event. I hope the Symposium can play its part in strengthening “People to People Connectivity” in ASEAN Community.

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN

Ade Padmo Sarwono