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ASEAN nations showcase rich textile heritage at Sadu House

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: ASEAN embassies in Kuwait have collaborated with Al Sadu Weaving Society to organize an ‘ASEAN Textile Exhibition & Workshop’ from Sept 1 to 6, 2022 at the Sadu House. The exhibition, which aims to promote the heritage of ASEAN textiles among the Kuwaiti public, feature both fashionable and national dresses, local garments as well as handmade clothes. The exhibition displays textile products from Malaysia, Brunei Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, silk and cotton materials from Vietnam, batik prints from Indonesia, and tribal design fabrics from the Philippines.

Sadu House, which promotes traditional Kuwaiti textiles, will host daily fabric lesson classes and workshops on Indonesia’s batik making, Thailand’s silk cloth flower creating, Philippines’ bracelet weaving and Malaysia’s traditional headgear folding.

Sheikha Bibi Duaij Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Chairwoman of the Sadu House

Sheikha Bibi Duaij Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Chairwoman of Sadu House, told Kuwait Times: “Throughout our cultural seasons, we collaborate with embassies to host workshops and lectures, build bridges between cultures, and provide our local community with the skills acquired from these different cultures. Traditional Kuwaiti designs can be adopted using complex or simple techniques, colors, patterns and motifs,” she said. “These events show how different textiles bring humanity closer, weaving together a global citizenship where people feel connected through their culture,” she pointed out.

Thai Ambassador to Kuwait Rooge Thammongkol told Kuwait Times: “Textiles originated more than 800 years ago in South Asia. This kind of heritage needs to be preserved and promoted among our Kuwaiti friends to show that we have a long history of textiles, which is aligned with the history of Sadu art, especially with the technical side of processing textiles. With our joint efforts, for the first time all ASEAN countries got together to be a part of this exhibition in Kuwait. We hope next year, we will exert more efforts to exchange experts and students between Kuwait and ASEAN countries.”

Indonesian Ambassador to Kuwait Lena Maryana said: “This event displays the richness of the textiles of Asian countries. ASEAN countries have a rich textile culture with batik, silk, and so on. Visitors are only given a glimpse of our textile heritage. They will be amazed if they visit all Asian countries and discover the diverse kinds of beautiful Asian textiles. Visitors can see different kinds of textiles in the exhibition, which have a wonderful story behind them, about the people who made them as well as the philosophy behind the fabric.”

Speaking of the inclusion of Sadu in UNESCO’s cultural heritage list, Shaimaa Al-Amin, Director of Programs and Public Relations at Sadu House, told Kuwait Times of the need to preserve the textile industry, especially traditional ones, both locally and globally. She also spoke of Kuwait and Sadu House’s interest to promote textile industries from other cultures, especially ASEAN countries, whose textile industry boasts of a heritage from the 14th century.

“We at Sadu House are pleased with the impressive attendance and are grateful for the wonderful initiative provided by ASEAN embassies to offer free textile workshops, which were fully booked,” Amin added. The exhibition is open to visitors from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm, while some textiles and handicrafts are also available for sale to visitors.

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