August has us all feeling nostalgic as Merdeka rounds up the corner. It’s only natural for us to reminisce on some of our fondest memories of growing up in Malaysia. Does anyone remember that mini ‘555’ notebooks? Or the smell of coffee at kopitiams and browsing the bread selection on the roti man’s bike? These little things are what makes Malaysia unique and truly Asia! Lucky for us, there are talented homegrown artisans who are not only keen to celebrate our beloved Malaysian culture every day but also keep them alive with souvenirs and pieces of jewellery that every Malaysian can enjoy! To celebrate Malaysia’s 65th Merdeka, we’ve rounded up 8 local brands that you can support to show your patriotism and remind you why Malaysia is awesome!
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APOM makes great gifts for your Malaysian friends (and even foreigners!). The t-shirts are a great conversation starter as it’s known for its ingenious use of incorporating popular Malaysian slangs, culture and road signs. It’s distinctively Malaysian! This Merdeka, the brand has collaborated with 14 designers to design t-shirts, tote bags and mugs to showcase their home state and dare we say it — they all have a piece of our hearts!
If you want to add a piece of Malaysia to your home, Bingka has the perfect handmade home decor and accessories inspired by Malaysian art and culture. Using silkscreen printing, the brand creates some of the most stunning designs onto items like tote bags, pillowcases, tea towels and coasters to add colours to your cosy home.
Show off your love for everything Malaysian by wearing a t-shirt or carrying a tote bag from HomeTooMuch. From kuih-printed tote bags to ikat tepi keychains, this brand makes a cute gift for friends and family. There are also pocket-sized mirrors with nasi lemak and Malaysian snacks print so you can carry your identity anywhere!
Stickers are not just for kids! Jack Yin of Jacktus created hand-drawn illustrations of popular Malaysian culture, focusing heavily on food. Warning: We are not responsible for any cravings! You can use these stickers on your phone, tablet, laptop and even your bullet journals! He’s also recently started selling embroidered patches that you can iron on your clothes — more ways to customise your wardrobe WHILE showing off your culture!
These enamel pins from Lebihlah are super cute! You can customise your clothes or bags with these pins. Ranging from local snacks to road signs, there are plenty of choices! They also have card stickers that you can use on your debit or credit cards to make you stand out. So creative!
Don’t mistake these delicious, ultra-realistic soaps as food! Wunderbath is popular with their bath and body products and they make. The best thing is, they don’t test on animals and they used ingredients safe for the environment so you can use these amazing products without worry! Choose from a range of products such as lip balms, bath bombs, hand soaps and also hand sanitisers. Be sure to check out their Merdeka collection which they partnered with Lexis Hibiscus to produce hibiscus-shaped soap and bath sets — they’re super cute and would make a great gift!
What started off as an experiment on polymer clay is now a full-fledged business for this young woman. Ling Hooi Yin is the brain behind the brand where you can get accessories such as cufflinks and earrings in the shape of Malaysian food. What better way to show off your love for Malaysian food than to literally wear it on your sleeves, right? There are apam balik, laksa, nasi lemak and many more! The amount of work and detailing that goes into making these accessories are mind-blowing and you’d forget they’re made out of clays!
8. Tangan Jewellery
Another polymer clay artist, Tangan Jewellery sells beautiful pieces of jewellery, perfect for the women in your life (or yourself!). You can show off your love for Malaysian culture through handmade earrings and this Merdeka, they’ve created Peranakan and batik-inspired earrings. Everything on the website is 100% handmade, so you’ll get something uniquely yours that no one in the world would also wear!
There you have it! Proudly show off our beloved Malaysian culture in whatever ways you have this Merdeka month!
For more travel inspiration, check out our articles here:
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- 10 Glamping Spots In Malaysia For A Unique Getaway
- Beautiful Beaches in Malaysia: Your Ultimate Guide To Malaysia's Islands For An Amazing Beach Getaway