Kg Belimbing women craft own market niche
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
ENCOURAGED by the positive response garnered by their handicrafts, members of the Kg Belimbing Village Consultative Council Women’s Bureau hope to showcase their products to a wider audience.
Noriah Jarudin, a member of the Women’s Bureau, told The Brunei Times that Kg Belimbing has benefited from an influx of visitors – domestic and from overseas – who are eager to learn about the local culture.
Noriah specialises in making handicrafts from palm-like mengkuang leaves (Pandanus, or screw pine) and _nipah _palm leaves.
She is one of two people at the bureau who specialise in the craft. She said Brunei’s handicrafts are becoming more and more popular with foreigners.
“Our handicrafts have reached Japan. Many visitors have bought them as souvenirs and gifts. Many visitors also asked us to teach them how to make these handicrafts,” she said.
Noriah is eager to teach the craft to young people and those who are willing to learn.
“People nowadays do not think that making handicrafts is beneficial or profitable. They think only senior citizens are doing it.
“We want to have more young people learn the craft so that the skills do not disappear,” she added.
Noriah said joining the bureau has allowed her to improve her skills and business strategy, and earn a profitable income.
“This shows that women are capable of contributing to the economy,” she said.
“The women’s bureau also helped to improve the reputation of Kg Belimbing Village Consultative Council, especially at district and national events.”
“We have participated in many events, such as exhibitions for the Excellent Village Awards at the International Convention Centre. From there, we managed to highlight many of our handicraft products. As a result, now we actively participate in expos and exhibitions,” she said.
Noriah showcased some of her products at the four-day Kg Belimbing festival that ended last Sunday.
And the annual festival was so successful that the council plans to make it a monthly event from now on.
The Brunei Times