Daily Archives: Rabu, 30 September 2009

Batik Day on Oct 2. Would There Be Any Penis Gourd Day?

180px-Batik_IndonesiaBatik is our national heritage. At least now we voice loudly on the importance of saving our national heritage from other nations’ claims especially the Malaysians. To appreciate this piece of national heritage we are requested to wear a cloth of batik on October 2. Of course it is always yours to decide whether you will to wear it or not. I plan to wear a cloth of batik only when I go out of the house on October 2 and I will try not to leave it off for the rest of the year though I know that it is hardly possible to wear it day in day out.

But batik of course is not the only national heritage of ours. There are so many of them from across the archipelago. One of them might be unique from the easternmost part of the archipelago: the koteka (penis gourd or penis sheath)! This koteka is traditionally worn by the males of some ethnic groups in Papua (or New Guinea).  It covers only the genital part and it is placed around the scrotum with the attachment of a small loop made of fibre. The kotekas are made from some species of dried out gourds. If you would like to see how a koteka is worn, you can see the picture below or you can easily search for it through a search engine. Warning, the picture might incur someone’s displeasure, so readers’ discretion is advised.

The Koteka or The Penis Gourd

The Koteka or The Penis Gourd

What becomes the thorn in our side is that whether we Indonesians as the non-inhabitants of Papua but we share the same country with the Papuans will appreciate this piece of culture as well as we appreciate our batik (for example) or not? In other words, let’s say that if there be a koteka day, would we leave our pants off and switch over to the koteka for just one day? What justification required to say that a piece of heritage deserves a national day whilst leaving another to die out? Is it a matter of ethic or is it a problem of ethnocentrism? Does anyone know the answer?