Students innovate traditional products

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE younger generation’s waning interest in traditional products may improve if innovative changes are made on the products, according to studies by Universiti Brunei Darussalam students who organised the Brunei Traditional Industry Seminar and Exhibition.

The chairperson of the seminar and exhibition, Mohammad Ali Yusri Hj Emran, said there were differences between the tastes of the older and younger generations when he conducted a study on the _kueh_bahulu (a traditional Malay snack).

He found that almost 90 per cent of his 300 respondents were interested consuming a bahulu that was innovative. It was especially popular among the younger generation.

During the exhibition, he said his bahulu was always sold out, with customers making more orders.

“They expressed their concern but we found that it is best to introduce both products together so we will not only have a variety of choices but also ensure that the traditional product still exists.

“We do need support from our younger generation as our studies also found that some products may no longer be available as there is not a lot of interest from the younger generation to continue this,” he added.

Mohd Ali Yusri said the older generation still prefers the traditional bahulu and asked for it to be maintained.

“Even though there are innovations, it is important to continue selling the original one,” he said, adding that both traditional and non-traditional products can co-exist.

The 24 products showcased at the UBD exhibition underwent a three-month research period to discover if changes to traditional products would make it more appealing to the younger generation.

Another student, Mohammad Norfaiz @ Mohammad Adam Hj Abu Bakar who displayed a songkok made from artificial leather, also said his respondents and exhibition visitors were open to the idea of making changes to traditional products.

He said all of his 120 respondents were interested in the concept of using songkok made from faux leather.

Alhamdulillah, they agreed with the innovation as the usual material was not as functional. It is unique and they found it attractive,” said Mohammad Norfaiz, adding that the songkok is water-resistant.

The three-day seminar and exhibition at the Royal Wharf in the capital came to a close yesterday.

The Brunei Times