KUCHING: More efforts should be made to promote Sarawak songket and keringkam among locals and visitors, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said promoting local handicraft would help to boost tourism besides preserving them for future generations.
“The state tourism ministry needs to create something so that people will wear songket and keringkam. We want an influx of people coming into Sarawak to take back Sarawak’s handicraft when they leave.
“We are here to promote local tourism, which is not just about travelling to places but having something to take back, ” she said when visiting the Songket and Keringkam Gallery here.
Keringkam is Sarawak Malays’ traditional hand-stitched embroidery using gold or silver thread. It is usually worn as head coverings or shawls at weddings and other special occasions.
Nancy also called for innovations to make the handicraft more relevant for everyday wear.
“We hope to see more youngsters involved so that future generations will be able to reproduce what we have and come up with new designs.
“Please do it so that it will be relevant to the present time and suitable for casual occasions, ” she said.
The gallery at Jalan Masjid here was opened in March to preserve and promote Sarawak songket and keringkam.
It was set up under the state government’s Old Kuching Smart Heritage initiative in collaboration with the Centre of Technical Excellence and other agencies.
Besides displaying traditional songket and keringkam pieces, it also sells handbags, bow ties and other products made from the textiles.
[Source: “Nancy: Efforts will boost tourism and preserve songket and keringkam” published by METRO NEWS/TheStar.com.my]