Transforming cultural heritage into an economic engine; this is the story of Sasirangan and Kondang in Jorong Village.
Sasirangan is a cultural heritage of the Banjar tribe that must be preserved. It is a unique batik made with a dyeing technique. Besides its artistic value, Sasirangan also has economic value.
JBG supported this program after a proposal from the Jorong Village Community Consultative Committee (CCC) to conduct training for Jorong Village PKK members to empower Jorong Village homemakers. Therefore, JBG began assisting the new Sasirangan Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Calap Baimbai, in 2020, marked by the inaugural training of Sasirangan cloth making by the Asri Sasirangan Group under the guidance of JBG in Karang Rejo Village.
Economically, Sasirangan is very potential, especially with the support from the Tanah Laut District Government, which requires all institutions and academic communities to use Sasirangan with the distinctive Tanah Laut motif as mandatory clothing. This Sasirangan motif is only produced by SMEs located in Tanah Laut Regency.
One product that uses Sasirangan as a material is Kondang. Kondang is an abbreviation for Kopiah Tuntung Pandang, a unique cap from Tanah Laut Regency. The government of Tanah Laut Regency is committed to preserving Kondang through Regulation Number 32 of 2022 on Kopiah Tuntung Pandang (Kondang). The purpose of this regulation is to establish Kondang as a binder, unifier, and strengthener of the character of the people of Tanah Laut Regency. Kondang symbolizes the relationship between humans and God, fellow humans and their diversity, and the environment.
The regulation also states that Kondang is mandatory for male civil servants in Tanah Laut Regency as office attire on Thursdays, Fridays, during certain celebration events or holidays, and on the anniversary of Tanah Laut Regency.
Boosting Kondang Production Together
The local government's policy requiring using Kondang has driven demand for Kondang and stimulated the local economy. The Calap Baimbai Sasirangan group in Jorong village, one of the SMEs officially appointed by the Regional National Crafts Council (Dekranasda) of Tanah Laut Regency to produce Kondang, has provided business opportunities for homemakers in the Jorong area and gradually increased the income of group members. Mothers who were previously less productive now have improved skills and knowledge in producing Sasirangan and managing this business. Besides, this group has become a means of sharing knowledge among fellow homemakers, thus preserving local culture.
In addition, the demand for Sasirangan fabric in the Jorong District area has been met. Previously, the Jorong community bought Sasirangan in Pelaihari, the regency city, or provincial city 50-100 km away. Now the Calap Baimbai group can meet the market demand in Jorong District.
Despite being a new SME, Calap Baimbai Sasirangan still requires institutionalization, business management skills, and marketing assistance to compete in the market.
Support for Sasirangan SMEs Needed from All Sides
JBG is working with the Tanah Laut Regency Manpower and Industry Office to develop Sasirangan using bottom-up and top-down methods to empower and accelerate the group's growth.
Active participation from group members is prioritized to create a deep understanding of their needs and conditions while encouraging breakthroughs and initiatives.
This assistance is carried out regularly by JBG community empowerment officers and invited experts for coaching, mentoring, training, and monitoring progress. In addition, socio-economic methods are used to improve the group's technical production skills through training, capital, institutional strengthening, marketing, and promotional activities to expand the market.
Meanwhile, the Tanah Laut Regency Government has made policies that support the development of the Sasirangan industry in Tanah Laut, enhance capacity, and encourage innovation and participation, pushing for Sasirangan SME Groups to be empowered, independent, and sustainable.
In line with the Tanah Laut Regency Government's plan, Jorong is planned to become the center of the industrial area and SME center.
Therefore, the Sasirangan SME development program mentored by JBG has excellent potential in the Jorong area. As a center, Sasirangan will be developed from upstream to downstream in Jorong. Of course, to achieve this, support is needed from various parties, including JBG, the community, and the government in its development.