Southeast Asia is known to have amazing and unique cultures. Every single beauty about the culture and the local way of living is simply captivating. The best thing about it, they are transformed into a work of art that the local made by hand, as a legacy of their culture.

1. Paper Making — Laos & Cambodia

Handicrafts are part of the traditional culture and livelihood of the Highlanders. Some of them are things like baskets, jars, pottery, and other tools for their daily life. As for the papermaking, the people make them by hand in the wider region for over 700 years using the bark of the local Sa or mulberry tree. Sa paper usually used for calligraphy, making festive decorations, and even umbrellas.

2. Silk Painting — Vietnam

Silk painting is one of the most popular forms of art in Vietnam. As the French influence in 19th and 20th centuries was absorbed into Vietnamese are, the liberal and modern use of color especially began to differentiate Vietnamese silk paintings from their Chinese or Japanese counterparts. Vietnamese silk paintings typically showcase the countryside, landscape, pagodas, historical events, or scenes of daily life.

3. Wayang Kulit — Indonesia

Shadow puppetry is famous in Indonesia. It is derived to Javanese Hindu-Buddhist tradition where handcrafted leather puppets depict epic stories of the Gods in shadow play. Usually made up of buffalo and goat skin hide in bamboo stick, the puppet came in all sizes, ranging from 25 to 75 cm.

4. Wau Kite — Malaysia

A uniquely designed Malaysian Kite — its wings are similar to an Arabic letter (pronounced “wow”). Kite making tradition comes naturally to Malaysian people. Farmer used kites as scarecrows in the fields and as a mean lull their children to sleep. Now, kite flying has become a popular sport not just in Malaysia but also internationally. For example, there’s Pasir Gudang – International Kite Festival, Malaysian one kite festival.

5. Songkok — Brunei

Also called peci or kopiah, Songkok is a cap widely worn in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Southern Philippines, and southern Thailand. There are three types of Songkok in Brunei:

  • Dastar, which us a piece of cloth tied around the head.
  • Songkok or Kopiah — a type of cap made from velvet.
  • Tangkolok or serban, which resembles a turban and is a typical headdress in the Middle East.

After a period of time the wearing of songkok became a tradition and synonymous with being a Malay. Gradually, it replace the dastar as part of the Malay’s national dress on most formal occasions.

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