Saturday, 18 February 2023 the TVRI team held coverage of the Bengok Craft in Kesongo, Tuntang, Semarang Regency.

When the TVRI crews arrived at Kesongo Village, they immediately headed to Daringan Kesongo Culture to be greeted by the Founder and Co-Founder of Bengok Craft, Firman Setyaji and Astaria Eka Santi.

Firman Setyaji, as he was well-prepared on his outfit wearing white long-sleeve shirt with the writings Bengok Craft, he was ready to become a sourceperson in this coverage.

Later on, TVRI crews and Firman went to God’s magnificent creation, namely Rawa Pening and the expanse of rice fields that surround it.

Firman was ready to take the first shoot, explaining that Rawa Pening is fulfilled with resources, many fish and other creatures were lived there. Yet unfortunately there is massive growth of water hyacinth, an aquatic plant that is considered as a weed. He explained that he and his team took the initiative to turn these harmful plants into useful items through the Upcycle technique. The upcycle technique aims to find other benefits from items that are no longer used and then turn them into a product that offers more benefits.

He also explained that before the business was founded, water hyacinth was only harvested and then dried and sold to collectors at a very cheap price, IDR 500 per bunch.

“This is certainly not comparable to the risks experienced by fishermen who become water hyacinth harvesters,” said Firman.

After in Rawa Pening, Firman invited the TVRI crew to cover the second location, in the water hyacinth drying area. Firman said that after being harvested, the water hyacinth is cleaned before it is finally dried under the sun.

“The technique for drying the water hyacinth can be varied, it could be ordinary drying above the ground, otherwise by hanging the water hyacinth bundles, added Firman.

Firman continued that the water hyacinth which is dried in the sun must be completely dry, it takes days for it because if it is not completely dry, there would be a risk of being exposed to mold later.

“If the weather is uncertain, for example it often rains, the drying process will take longer,” said Firman.

After had a shooting there, they went to the Bengok Craft gallery. There, the Co-Founder of Bengok Craft, Astaria Eka Santi known as Asta explained the creations in the Bengok Gallery.

After had a shooting there, Firman and Asta took the TVRI crew to the water hyacinth artisan’s place, namely to the house of Mr. Budiman.

There, the crews met Mr. Budiman who was creating weed plants into valuable items. Even though the house still looks simple and traditional, the equipment for making crafts is quite complete, such as the semi-traditional water hyacinth flattening tool. This tool is very important for making crafts with woven techniques. Mr. Budiman showed the crews the way to make the craft he was creating, namely the Bengok Slipper and several other crafts.

With hand movements that seem flexible, it shows how experienced Mr. Budiman is as an artisan.

Firman said that Mr. Budiman was the first artisan to join the Bengok Craft production team in early 2019, but previously Mr. Budiman had already joined the craft industry, therefore his experience was beyond doubt.

Initially, Mr. Budiman himself joined the Bengok Craft team, but as time went on with the increasing demand for orders, his wife and children also participated in becoming water hyacinth artisans.

Firman really relies on human resources from the village where he lives, he has a dream to improve their standard of living. In addition, Firman also empowers local residents so that they have more specific skills, such as crafts.

Thus, Firman helped improve the welfare of the local residents of Kesongo village. He did not only think about the benefits to be gained by establishing a small business with big dreams called Bengok Craft, but also to provide benefits to the people around him, as his favorite saying is “Life is a Flame to Enlighten”.

This shooting was later broadcasted on the TVRI channel on Wednesday, 29 March 2023 at 8:30 PM local time through the TV program “Bangga Buatan Indonesia TVRI” @banggabuatanindonesiatvri.

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