Malaysia hosts 8th Asean traditional textiles symposium

PUTRAJAYA: Over 300 textile artists, artisans and weavers from Asean countries and other regions are taking part in the 8th Asean Traditional Textiles Symposium 2022.

The symposium which is hosted by Malaysia is held from Sept 25 to 30 at Marriott Hotel Putrajaya.

Themed Celebrating Textiles: A Journey, the Yayasan Tenun Pahang Diraja cum host has gathered these experts to discuss and share information about preservation and sustainability of original textile weaving in the Asean and surrounding regions.

The event was officiated by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, here Monday (Sept 26).

Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah in her official speech said that differences can be bridged through arts and crafts.

“I stand before you here today not as the queen of Malaysia but as a custodian of every form of arts and craft, not just textiles, which forms our heritage. Through our heritage, we celebrate friendship. Our journey together is to ensure that our ancient arts are not only revived but also preserved.

“We live in the hope that we are able to continue the path set by our ancestors. It is important and critical for us to do this so that our traditional arts and crafts do not become relics of the past or mere footnotes in history books.

“We need to continuously find ways to preserve our arts and craft. The challenge is how to encourage the keepers of our culture to share their skills and knowledge so as to ensure that our culture and tradition do not stop or die with them,” she said.

Her Majesty also commended the government’s support through various ministries in efforts to promote and preserve age-old traditions of making arts and crafts.

She also announced the establishment of the Royal Malaysian Society of Artisans, an association to recognise a handful of skilled artisans in recognition of the past to benefit the future.

Also present were Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah, Tengku Permaisuri of Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin, Kelantan Sultanah Nur Diana Petra Abdullah, Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, The Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatudin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Raja Perempuan Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid and Raja Puan Muda Perak Tunku Soraya Almarhum Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah.

The symposium, which is organised every two years, also features a textile exhibition including the personal weaving collection of Her Majesty as well as demonstrations of craft making such as Tenun Diraja Pahang, songket, Sabah siambitan, Sarawak pua kumbu, mengkuang weaving, wood carvings as well as the sale of various crafts.

A total of 19 paperworks will be presented by 13 countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Canada, Laos, the Philippines, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Titles, names of paper presenters and countries are available on the website

The Asean Traditional Textile Symposium started in 2005 where Indonesia was the first organiser and continued again in the Philippines in 2009, Malaysia (2011), Vietnam (2013), Thailand (2015), Brunei (2017) and the last time in Indonesia (2019).

Yayasan Tenun Pahang Diraja was established on Sept 29, 2017, with the aim of promoting Tenun Pahang Diraja as a heritage craft enterprise that can improve people's living standards by creating job opportunities for art workers and weavers.

This foundation is under the patronage of His Majesty the Sultan of Pahang while Her Majesty Tengku Ampuan Pahang, is the co-founder and also the chairperson of the foundation.

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