Celebrating Raya the traditional way

Celebrating Raya the traditional way
Hari Raya celebration is certainly more beautiful when traditions are incorporated into it.

Women should wear traditional Malay clothes such as Baju Kurung at a Raya function or when visiting friends and relatives.

Men should wear Baju Melayu, songkok and samping, which will definitely add to the charm of the festival.

During Hari Raya, friends and relatives visit one another and exchange gifts. These are some of the traditions followed by Muslims in Malaysia.

People exchange gifts such as Raya cookies and fruits. Those who are keen to add more colour and vibrancy to their gifts can visit Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur, which is located along Jalan Conlay, not too far from the popular Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre or KLCC.

In conjunction with the upcoming Aidilfitri celebration, Kraftangan Malaysia is having a special Aidilfitri Craft Promotion at its centre.

Held at its village centre, which is next to the main complex, the promotion will feature both craft items and Aidilfitri related items until Aug 3, Saturday, from 10.00am to 10.00pm.

Director General of Kraftangan Malaysia Mohd Kamil Mohd Ali said the event, which has been held for the past eight years, is a themed event aimed at encouraging Malaysians to celebrate the festival with various local handicrafts.

Among the activities being featured at the event include the sale of Aidilfitri products and crafts and an exhibition of new craft products.

Other highlights include demonstrations of craft making, preparation of traditional Raya cookies, and a cooking competition.

Mohd Kamil hopes the event will attract a lot of people to Kompleks Kraf, including foreign tourists and shoppers, who are keen to purchase items for Hari Raya.

He is also confident that people would be satisfied with the choices offered to them, with 100 craft producers and 80 producers of Aidilfitri goods taking part in the promotional event.

Among the goods on display would be clothes, batik scarves, accessories, decorative items, Raya cookies, and Aidilfitri hampers. There will also be counters offering catering, photography, and beauty services.

In view of the large compound at the craft village centre and different sections, Kraftangan Malaysia will also offer special guided group tours so that visitors can learn more about the place and the event.

There will be a total of four guided tour sessions every daythe first guided tour session will begin at 10.00am, followed by two sessions at 12.00 noon and 3.00pm, and the last guided tour session will commence at 5.00pm.

The annual event provides children with an opportunity to learn more about Malaysias handicraft industry.

During the demonstrations, children will understand how handicrafts are made. Weaving of samping, beadwork, and the production of Baju Melayu buttons and brooches will be covered during the demonstrations.

Visitors will be able to interact with floral decorators and sandal and songkok producers.

Hari Raya delicacies that will be highlighted through cooking sessions include the traditional bahulu, ketupat palas, and bahulu gulung.

Visitors can learn cooking techniques and purchase Hari Raya delicacies.

Those keen to participate in the cooking contests for dishes such as bubur lambuk, serunding, dodol, ketupat palas, and rendang daging, can download registration forms from Kraftangan's website.

Kraftangan has opened a Ramadan bazaar in the same location so that visitors can break their fast while shopping.

The complex in Kuala Lumpur, which displays a multitude of handicrafts under one roof, is also an interesting educational site for families.

An initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the complex provides visitors the opportunity to view and appreciate the intrinsic beauty and uniqueness of local handicrafts.

Kraftangan has also successfully promoted and marketed crafts produced in Malaysia, both locally and internationally, through activities and programmes that are conducted throughout the year.

At the craft museum, visitors will not only get to see products on display, but they will also get to understand how products are made.

At the main building of Seri Anjung, there is a boutique and a souvenir shop where people can purchase handicrafts, unique clothes, textiles, decorative items, personal accessories, and batik items at reasonable prices.

Interesting products on display include items made from materials found in forests, ceramics, and metal items. Consumers can either purchase them directly at the stores or place orders.

Another interesting part of the complex is an open space at the Artist Village provided to local artists.

Here, visitors can interact with local artists, who use various mediums and techniques to produce their original works, with a touch of Malaysian heritage.