June 24, 2022, 12.54 PM

TEMANGGUNG, KOMPAS.com - As Indonesian President Joko Widodo led Anthony Albanese around the lush gardens of the Bogor Presidential Palace near Jakarta earlier this month, he presented the new Australian prime minister with an unusual gift: a bamboo bike.

The night before, designer Singgih Susilo Kartono learned it would be the Spedagi model he crafts in a small village on the island of Java that the leaders would ride side-by-side in a unique moment of bicycle diplomacy.

Prime Minister Albanese would tuck his trousers into his socks after the statesmen stripped off their jackets and ties and donned helmets, setting off on the light and environmentally friendly two-wheelers for the symbolic bike ride.

The 54-year-old designer told AFP the diplomatic gesture was a “special, magical moment” for him after years spent working on the bike.

“It’s not about the bike being bought by Jokowi, but the fact that it was used to welcome PM (Albanese),” he said.

(FILES) This file handout photo taken and released by the Presidential Palace on June 6, 2022 shows Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (R) and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (L) riding bamboo bicycles at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java. As Indonesian President Joko Widodo led Australia's Anthony Albanese around the lush gardens of a presidential palace south of Jakarta earlier this month, he presented the new Australian prime minister with an unusual gift: a bamboo bike. LAILY RACHEV / PRESIDENTIAL PALACE / AFPAFP PHOTO / PRESIDENTIAL PALACE / LAILY RACHEV (FILES) This file handout photo taken and released by the Presidential Palace on June 6, 2022 shows Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (R) and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (L) riding bamboo bicycles at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java. As Indonesian President Joko Widodo led Australia's Anthony Albanese around the lush gardens of a presidential palace south of Jakarta earlier this month, he presented the new Australian prime minister with an unusual gift: a bamboo bike. LAILY RACHEV / PRESIDENTIAL PALACE / AFP

When not arming world leaders with new bamboo wheels, Kartono is using his sustainable bike craftsmanship to bring jobs to locals and show Indonesian villagers how they can make use of the environment around them.

“I train youths here who lack skills. We have a system to train unskilled people until they can create quality products,” he said.

The model, named after the Indonesian words “sepeda” for bicycle and “pagi” for morning, is built by a team of 15 employees at a workshop in Kartono’s village in Central Java, where he saddles up for his own bike ride every day.

Also readAustralia Swears in Anthony Albanese as New Prime Minister

Fast-growing bamboo stalks are cut by his team, coated with preservatives, dried, then laminated before being combined with other parts to assemble the sturdy bike frame.

Page:


Source AFP
Comment wisely and responsibly. Comments are entirely the responsibility of the commentator as regulated in the ITE Law
Report
Thank You! We have received your report. We will remove comments that conflict with the Community Guidelines and the ITE Law.

More Headlines

News
June 30, 2022, 07.04 PM

Jokowi Departs for Moscow to Meet Putin

Close Ads