Monday, June 10, 2013

Popular Malaysian souvenirs

Twin Towers Malaysia

Shopping is an integral part of any holiday. Most vacationers try to acquire a souvenir or two on any holiday, for it is often said that the particular souvenir tends to evoke happy memories even years later. Geographically and ethnically diverse Malaysia offers rich pickings for souvenir shopping. Moreover, the country is renowned for its many traditional arts and crafts, which are not only representative of the skills of its peoples but also make good gifts for friends and family, back home.

Well-known and well-regarded Malaysian handicrafts include spectacular Batik and Songket textiles, intricate woodcarvings, beaded shoes and accessories, ornamental products fashioned out of pewter and silver and lifestyle products crafted from woven rattan, ceramic sand even glass.

Batik
Malaysia is known for its own style of inimitable style of Batik painting which differs significantly from the Indonesian form of this art. Malaysian batik textile art generally features larger motifs like flowers, leaves and various geometric designs. Additionally Malaysian batik textile art is produced by brush painting unlike the Indonesian style of batik which features the use of a canting(a hand held tool).  Popular batik souvenirs from Malaysia include shirts, dresses, sarong, pareos, handbags and soft-furnishings like table mats and cushion covers.

Songket
Aside from batik, Malaysia is also renowned for the production of opulent songket fabric.  This fabric which resembles brocade is hand-woven and interspersed with many gold and silver threads. Favored by royalty, garments fashioned out of songket are usually handed down through generations. Songket is used to make garments and accessories like jackets, evening gowns, vests and bow-ties.

Nyonya wares
The Perankan people of Malaysia are known for their artistic skills. Adorning products with glass beads is one of their specialties and beaded Nynonya wares like slippers, purses, phone covers and so forth, are popular as souvenirs and gifts. Also favored is the Nyonya traditional dress for women, the Sarong Kebaya, a skirt and blouse set which usually features vibrant colors and rich embroidery.

Pewter
Pewter, an alloy produced by combing tin with other metals is widely produced in Malaysia. This is hardly surprising given that Malaysia was a leading tin mining country during  the 19th century. Today novelty gift items like mugs, card holders, photo frames and replicas of landmark Malaysian sights are produced by well-known companies like Royal Selangor Pewter and make for popular souvenir items.

Forest fibers products
Lifestyle products made with fibers sourced from Malaysia’s lush forests like bamboo, rattan, pandanus and ribu-ribu are widely available throughout the country and are popular as gifts and souvenirs.

Woodcarvings
Malaysian Borneo is home to several indigenous tribes. These tribal folk are commonly referred to as ‘Orang Asli’ and they are renowned for skillful wood carvings. These wood carvings are readily available at the many arts and crafts centers located within major Malaysian cities.

Pottery
Regions of Malaysia like Perak and Sarawak are especially known for the production of gorgeous pottery items like vases, jars, water receptacles and more. All these objects make for popular souvenir items.

Local foods
Malaysia is renowned as a gastronomic delight so it is no wonder that its many  indigenous snacks like dodol(a Malaysian sweet made with jiggery and rice flour), coconut, durian and ginger candies, condiments like Belacan(fermented shrimp paste), Tambun biscuits(green bean paste biscuits from Penang), Chicken biscuits (from Perak ) are popular as souvenirs from the country. However, before you fill your bags with Malaysian treats, you would do well as to check the customs regulations of your country for the import of foods.

So if you are getting ready for your trip to Malaysia, you now know exactly what to bring back home as a souvenir from your travels.

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