The kebaya, a standard Southeast Asian garment, is being nominated by Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore for 2023’s UNESCO Intangible Heritage Record.
Singapore has been operating a marketing campaign on Fb to get the kebaya included on UNESCO’s record because it first introduced the hassle in a press launch on Nov. 23, 2022.
Whereas Singapore distributed the press launch, the Southeast Asian city-state famous that Malaysia proposed and coordinated the plan.
In a Q&A posted on Feb. 16, Singapore’s Nationwide Heritage Board defined that the nations can be sending their nomination to UNESCO by this month. As a part of the submission course of, every of them would want to “showcase their efforts in selling and safeguarding the kebaya” and collect “neighborhood assist and consent for the nomination.”
Though Indonesia was not listed within the first official draft of the press launch for the nomination in November 2022, the Southeast Asian nation was ultimately added to the record by Singapore’s Nationwide Heritage Board.
“The 5 nations agreed to work collectively on this multinational nomination because the kebaya represents and celebrates the area’s wealthy shared historical past, promotes cross-cultural understanding and continues to be actively produced and worn by many communities throughout Southeast Asia,” the Nationwide Heritage Board wrote.
The kebaya, which Indonesia has acknowledged as its nationwide gown since 1945, might have Center Jap roots.
Javanese royals and society ladies have been seen carrying the outfit when Portuguese explorers arrived in Java in 1512.
The nationwide outfit grew to become an emblem of defiance and nationwide solidarity when Javanese ladies refused to put on the rest at a Japanese incarceration camp throughout World Battle II.
The kebaya additionally grew to become the official uniform of the feminine crew members of Malaysia Airways, Singapore Airways and Indonesia’s Garuda Airways.
The joint effort to appoint the kebaya reportedly didn’t take off easily, as Indonesia was seemingly undecided throughout the first few months following the announcement.
Over a dozen cultural teams in Indonesia had urged the federal government to hitch Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei of their effort, with Lia Nathalia, head of Komunitas Perempuan Berkebaya (Neighborhood of Kebaya-Sporting Girls), telling The Straits Occasions in late November 2022, “It’s higher for us to convey the spirit of Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] as one neighborhood.”
Whereas Irini Dewi Wanti, the director for cultural safety at Malaysia’s Ministry of Schooling, Tradition, Analysis and Expertise, confirmed that her company and different officers have been on the November 2022 assembly, she famous that they have been solely current as facilitators.
One Indonesian official proclaimed that the nation ought to nominate the kebaya to UNESCO alone.
“Kebaya belongs to Indonesia, and that is non-negotiable. That’s why we’ve to be agency in registering the kebaya to Unesco as a sole nominee,” Home of Representatives member Agustina Wilujeng Pramestuti stated in August 2022, as reportedly quoted by Kompas.
A number of Indonesian social media customers have been additionally towards the plan to collectively nominate the gown, as reported in December 2022.
“The massive query right here is, of those 4 nations, what number of and the way typically do they put on the kebaya? None,” one Instagram person wrote.
“Cease claiming Indonesian tradition,” one other person wrote, whereas one other person stated the kebaya “solely belongs to Indonesia.”
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