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The Origins of Kebaya that Singapore and 3 Other Countries will Registered to UNESCO

Recently word got out that Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam will register kebaya to the UNESCO cultural heritage list.

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kebaya illustration 

TRIBUNBATAM.id - Recently word got out that Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam will register kebaya to the UNESCO cultural heritage list.

Singapore's National Heritage Board (NHB) says the kebaya is a popular traditional women's dress in the region. 

"(The kebaya) represents and celebrates the shared history of the region, promotes cross-cultural understanding and continues to be present and actively produced and worn by many communities in Southeast Asia," the NHB statement said.

The nomination is planned to be submitted to UNESCO next year, in March 2023 to be precise.

The origins of the Kebaya

According to Theresia Widyastuti, Chair of the Textile Craft Study Program, Faculty of Art and Design, Sebelas Maret University Surakarta, the kebaya originally appeared at the same time as the kingdom in the archipelago, whose function was to dress women among the nobility. 

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Initially, women in the archipelago only used a long cloth as a sling.

If traced further, they even only use a long cloth from the waist down, while the chest is open.

Over time, women, especially members of the royal family, covered their upper bodies with unbuttoned blouses. 

While on the inside, still use a long cloth that is wrapped from the armpits to the ankles. 

In its development, kebaya began to be worn by all women.

They use it as the upper garment, while the lower part uses a long cloth called jarit in Java.

Kebaya is also worn outside Indonesia

However, the use of kebaya is not only worn by women in Indonesia.

Several countries outside Indonesia also wear these traditional clothes, such as the regions of Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, and even throughout Southeast Asia. 

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