First Lady makes batik with Swedish Queen

Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesian First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo invited Queen Silvia of Sweden to make batik during her visit to Bogor Palace, West Java.

Queen Silvia carved malam (wax) from "canting" (a traditional Indonesian hand tool) into a sheet of fabric with "seling parang" motif drawn by a batik maker in one of Bogor Palaces chamber.

"This flower picture was made by Queen earlier, even though she held the canting for the first time, but the result is tidy enough," Marni, a batik maker said, while showing the fabric which had the work done by Queen Silvia in Bogor, Monday.

Earlier, Queen Silvia enjoyed Butterfly Dance from West Java, performed by six dancers wearing traditional costumes and butterfly wings.

Upon arriving at Bogor Palace, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were welcomed in a state ceremony, along with cannon shots.

After that, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and the First Lady took them to see "The Hand of God" statue made by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles, which Indonesia had received as a gift from the Swedish government back in 1957.

The statue is located at the palaces backyard near Bogor Botanical Garden. King Carl XVI Gustaf also planted an ulin tree in the palaces side garden. Jokowi then took them on a tour to the lake at Bogor Botanical Garden by using golf buggy, before enjoying the sight from Bogor Palace.

After the tour of Bogor Palace, both leaders oversaw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on free-visa, transport and creative industry, which was signed by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Maritime Coordinator Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan and Creative Economy Bureau Head Triawan Munaf.

During that meeting, President Jokowi gave Indonesian Adipurna Star to the King, and the King awarded "Order of Seraphim" to Jokowi.

The Swedish King and Queen were accompanied by Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson and 31 representatives of Swedish companies.

The Swedish monarch will spend three days (May 22-24) in Indonesia and will visit Jakarta, Bogor and Bandung.(*)