There are some pretty well-known traditional arts, crafts and trades in Malaysia. These businesses are mostly manned by skilled, elderly craftsman or artists who keeps the younger generation connected with our cultural identity. Due to insufficient successors to ensure the continuity of this art, they are now faced with the possibility of extinction. Apart from that, insufficient resources and technology are threatening the very existence of this industry.
Here are some local art, crafts and trading business are in dire need for help:
#1 Cane Furniture
Before plastic furniture became the staple material for our daily living, rattan was among one of the highly sought-after materials used to make furniture. Rattan is actually a good choice for furniture due to it durability and adaptability to Malaysia’s climate.
#2 Bamboo Baskets/Bags
Back in the days, women have marketable, crafting skills like weaving bamboo baskets. The Penan women who are one of the nomadic indigenous people living in Sarawak, depends on this very skills to survive in an urban setting. They are especially skilled as they are able to make things like food covers, baskets, bags, and trays out of bamboo.
#3 Chinese Opera
Chinese Opera is originated in China whereby performers put on heavy and colorful make-up to transform themselves to the characters they are playing. This art can still be found in some parts of Malaysia, especially Malacca, the historical city in Malaysia. However, Chinese Opera is only appealing to the older generation as many show little to no appreciation for the art behind it.
#4 Handmade Wau
Wau is actually a type of traditional kite which you can find along the coast of Kelantan. The physical appearance of Wau looks different from the usual kite. Unlike kite, Wau has many unique design with its own story and personality.
#6 Traditional Dhoby
Nowadays, coin-operated laundry shops can be found anywhere and everywhere. We almost forgotten how traditional dhoby works back in the days. This dhoby service is often operated by Indians. Traditional laundry services can still be found in Georgetown, Penang as some people prefer their laundries to be washed in an old-school manner. Laborers manually soak and wash the clothes and dry them under the sun instead of using washing machine and dryer.