Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You wanna study violin? You'd better buy an expensive violin

One of my most favorite musical instruments to hear - not to play, I can't - is violin. I admire this guy Ngatmin from Kudus, Central Java who produces hand-made violins and sells them at IDR 1-2 million a piece (Kompas, 11/7). He also sounds very confident: "Our quality is better [than competition from China]. I guarantee you that. We'll also keep the handmade process, instead of turning into machinery. Because we know our products will still be sought for. We'll not lose our market".

So it is at odds that Kompas suggested to "block importation, for local producers need protection". They reported that Chinese massly-produced violins sell here at IDR 500-750 a piece. Again, a Ngatmin's violin, a better violin that is, sell at a higher price. So what's the problem? As Ngatmin himself says, the qualities are different. Isn't it just so natural that the one with higher quality is more expensive?

Kompas also wrote that those who purchase violins in bulk prefer Chinese made to local ones. Supposedly these are for schools or music training centers. I don't see any reason to complain. In fact, I hope more and more Indonesian kids (including the not-so-rich who can only afford Chinese violins) can play violin. Later, some of them who are serious and talented will sure buy the better one: Ngatmin's violin.

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