SMILE: Tony Kong (centre) with family members from China.
MIRI: The Malaysia Craft Exposition 2013 at Miri Handicraft Centre is an opportunity to promote native crafts to increase the income of entrepreneurs besides promoting Malaysia and Miri to tourists.
The 69 craft entrepreneurs (56 from Sarawak, 11 peninsula and two Sabah) sell textiles, woodwork, ceramic, basketry and pewter craft to make the exposition a one-stop craft centre.
Hateni Patty and husband Bujang Manson from Kampung Bakam were pleased that Miri was chosen as the venue for the exposition.
“It is more convenient for us to come to Miri rather than the peninsula for items like pewter and quality batik, plus prices are reasonable,” the couple told The Borneo Post.
Julia Jugak of Miri said: “This expo is an ideal venue to promote our cultures and traditions like Iban basketry.”
Pua kumbu entrepreneur Loretta Nilam said the expos was timely for locals to buy accessories and items for the forthcoming Gawai celebration.
“Our pua kumbu products (made by me) are among the most sought after items from our booths,” she said.
Batik entrepreneur from Kelantan who wanted to be called Kak Yah said coming to Miri was part of her mission to promote fine textiles including batik like ‘kain samping’ produced in her state.
Foreign visitors like Carol Durgy Brooks found the expo timely as she was in Miri for a reunion to celebrate SMK Marudi’s Jubilee.
“This expo is a one-stop centre for visitors like us to find souvenirs to bring home. It is also a place to promote Malaysia and Miri in particular,” said Brooks.
Tony Kong from Sibu, who came with his uncles and cousins from China, said more expos like this should be held in Sarawak.
“My uncles and nephew bought several items including Sarawak made scarf to bring back as souvenirs,” he said.
Besides offering crafts for sale, there are educational and interactive craft programmes held daily from May 18 to 26 during the duration of the expo.
Students, teachers and members of non-governmental organisations were invited to take part in the programme which includes bead craft and batik painting.
There are also a motivational seminar, nightly traditional and modern dance performances and entertainment programmes.
The craft expo which opens from 10am to 11pm is jointly organised by Miri City Council and the Malaysian Handicraft Corporation.