You might not expect it, but Christmas celebrations inSarawak, Malaysia are abigdeal!
BY DEEPA CHEVI
While less than 10 percent of the Malaysian population are Christians, they make up more than half of the population in Sarawak – it’s the only state in Malaysia with a Christian majority. Unlike in most places, Christmas celebrations in Sarawak take place during the first two weeks of December as many locals head back to their respective hometowns and longhouses during the last week of December.
If you’re keen to catch the action, make the dash across to Sarawak for the Miri City Christmas Parade on 3 December or the Bau Christmas Parade on 17 December. Or why not plan ahead to join in the Christmas parades next year, either with your family or your work team. Several churches also organise their own Christmas events during this period too.
Bring home a piece of Sarawak Can’t travel to Sarawak? Visit Retail@Gallery, located along Robinson Road in Singapore, to bring home a piece of Sarawak with you or – better yet – as a gift for a loved one this Christmas! Profits from purchases will go towards supporting local SMEs and social enterprises in Sarawak. Handwoven bags and baskets by PenanWomen Project Penan Women Project is a Sarawak-based social enterprise with the mission to empower Penan women and their families to improve their lives through weaving skills. They innovate and develop traditional designs to cater to a wider urban market, which helps them to create new designs while still preserving their traditional skills. The Penan are one of the indigenous tribes in Borneo. They’re believed to be the last nomadic hunter-gatherers in Malaysia who call the rainforest their home. Beaded accessories If you’re looking for unique accessories, this is for you! Choose from an array of bracelets, necklaces, mask chains and more, all made using beads handmade in Sarawak. The indigenous people of this region of Malaysia have long been associated with beadwork for adornment as well as for ceremonial purposes. In Sarawak, traditions around beads go back to the very remote past. The variety of beads, the materials from which they’re made, their colours and the values attributed to them all make for interesting conversations and discussions.
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