Originated from Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, BajuKurung is a traditional and cultural dress specifically worn by women in Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. It is also the national dress of Malaysia and Brunei. It simply is a loosely fitted blouse and skirt but the length of the dress is full-length. In modern Malaysia, BajuMelayu is the dress for men and BajuKurung is the dress for women. It is a famous traditional Malay costume.
Components ofthe Costumes.
Baju or blouse
The blouse extends to somewhere in the area between hips and knees and has long sleeves. The fabric used to make the blouse is traditional Malay textiles coming from Indonesian provinces and Malaysian states. Sometimes silk imported from India, China, Turkey, Taiwan, etc also used to make blouses or baju.
Sarong or skirt
People generally pair baju with a sarong or skirt. Ikatanombakmengalun which is a wavy-style fold is also worn with a sarong. People love the fabric from the eastern states of Pahang, Terengganu to make a sarong.
It is worn to protect one from the extreme heat of the sun while outdoors. But indoors it is either hung in the arm or simply tied to the waist.
It is hanged over the shoulder. Generally, people prefer wearing a short scarf if they are wearing a Kian Dagang. The headscarf is generally worn with BajuKurung in the conservative society of Malaysia.
BajuKurungTelukBelanga, CekakMusang, Kedah, Pahang, perak are the varieties of BajuKurung usually worn in Malaysia.
BajuMelayu for Men
It has long sleeves and is a loosely fitted shirt. It is worn generally with long pants and KainDagang. TelukBelanga style cloth has two pockets while CekakMusang style has three pockets. Kian songet, TenungPahanDiraja is used to make this cloth.
It has tremendous cultural significance in Malaysia as it is worn as formal attire by primary and secondary students. It is also worn to attend official functions, religious ceremonies, and marriage. It is also worn by civil servants and female students. The demand for this cloth is massive during the month of Ramadan.
Innovations and Modern Use
With the development of technology and shifting of generation, BajuKurung has also been modified according to the needs of the people. silk, batik, linen, chiffon, etc are used to make this dress which is different from the original style of the dress. People are more cautious about their costumes so in order to give different shapes and dimensions to this traditional cloth innovation is being done and the innovative dress is known as BajuKurungModen. It gives different colors and textures to the cloth which makes it look more elegant. Despite adding so many things, the original flavor of the cloth is intact.
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