Hundreds give Zumba a batik twist


KUALA LUMPUR: Hundreds of people joined a group exercise while wearing different types of batik attire at the annual Zumbatik 2023.

The event combines the workout routine of Zumba with batik, where participants either wear batik attire or put on batik cloth pieces while exercising.

It was a fun-filled event as attendees in batik danced in unison to upbeat versions of traditional songs throughout the hour-long exercise session held at Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Among them was 65-year-old retiree Sharifa Mansor who loved the combination of her favourite pastime and tradition.

Zumba twist for batik: Hundreds of participants taking part in Zumbatik held in conjunction with Malaysia Batik Day 2023 at Komplek Kraf in Kuala Lumpur. - Photo: FAIHAN GHANI/The StarZumba twist for batik: Hundreds of participants taking part in Zumbatik held in conjunction with Malaysia Batik Day 2023 at Komplek Kraf in Kuala Lumpur. - Photo: FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

“While I also do yoga and pilates, Zumba is definitely my favourite daily activity as it keeps me fit while I’m also a big batik fan as I collect designs from all over Malaysia and overseas,” she said.

Food delivery rider Rasdan Ramli, 45, who came from Cheras, found the workout to be a fascinating mix of traditional batik and modern form of exercise.

“I’m surprised at how well batik pairs with this modern workout routine as it adds an extra level of beauty to our otherwise simple exercise session,” he said.

Zumba instructor Chully Jamri, 50, who left her house in Rawang at 6am, said the long journey was more than worth it.

“After this, I may start encouraging my students to start wearing batik when doing our daily workout at my studio,” she said.

Fun with colours: A visitor trying her hand at batik canting at Kompleks Kraf, Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The StarFun with colours: A visitor trying her hand at batik canting at Kompleks Kraf, Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

Chully, who runs a Zumba centre in Gombak, is hoping to spread more awareness on the importance and beauty of batik among the people during her exercise sessions.

Yesterday’s exercise session, which was joined in by Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general (Culture) Mohd Yusri Mohd Yusoff, ended with an open canvas painting event where participants took turns painting their own designs on one giant shared canvas.

The event was held alongside the Malaysia Batik Day 2023 celebrations. About 100 batik vendors from across the country set up booths at the complex compound to sell their wares.

Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who launched the campaign yesterday, said his ministry planned to create a Special Batik Collection Series that would be used to promote Malaysia’s identity abroad.

“This series will primarily be promoted to China’s tourism market as part of our efforts to draw in more Chinese tourists next year. We will also allow China to market its own special collection series of its products to Malaysia,” he said.

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