Monday, March 17, 2014

Cultural Matchmaking: An Investment Solution

I have looked forward to the Weaving Workshop at Sopo Sorha Harungguan in Muara for a long time. It has struck me as the ideal way to complete the Pulang Kampung III journey.

When we received a contribution from the students at DEL University and High School to support our indigenous knowledge activities (Pulang Kampung III), we were terribly touched. We wanted to dedicate the money to something special that would make the students feel proud and would complement their university learning. We also wanted to do something that would assist the young team members of Pulang Kampung to find their way in life and we wanted to be true to the goals of Pulang Kampung III.  We wanted a win/win/win/win investment opportunity. A weaving workshop in Muara seemed to be the answer. In addition to being an educational opportunity, the funds would support the dissemination of indigenous knowledge and also Sopo Sorha Harungguan, a weaver group in Muara whose existence had been inspired by copies of Legacy in cloth that were left in the village in 2011 (Pulang Kampung I).  The weaver group is trying to return to natural dyes and to honour the traditional Batak textile tradition. 
Weavers in the village were our teachers.

By attending the weaver workshop, Febrina and Lasma will have a chance to learn and grow. And as it turns out, Jesral and Ojak also attended. I invited staff of Del Highschool to attend because they are developing a curriculum to transfer indigenous weaving knowledge. One of them, Johan Sinaga, was able to attend.

Johan Sinaga, a teacher at Del's highschool, joined us for the workshop.
The synergy is working. In fact, the synergy may be as important as the techniques that we are learning in this workshop. The young men are bonding in important ways, Febrina and Lasma are picking up their friendship where it left off, and Restuala’s vision and accomplishments in the form of Sopo Sorha are becoming known to Del. 

We are together 24 hours a day and the conversations are rich and wide-ranging.

We had some joyful and relaxing times.
We are sharing our visions about the future of Batak culture while we learn about Batak weaving practices.

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