Archive for August 2010

Traditional Souvenirs from Malaysia

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Traditional Malaysian Bowl
Traditional Malaysian Bowl

Once you visit Malaysia, you are sure to wish that you could bring back some of the warmth and vibrance to cherish for the rest of your life.  Fortunately, there are all kinds of traditional souvenirs that will help you recapture the memories of a vacation in this area.  In fact, a number of objects that you can choose from can be as easily placed in an office setting as they can your home.

Many people that visit Malaysia choose to bring back objects made from pewter.  As you may be aware, pewter is made from a combination of tin and other metals. Since Malaysia has a number of mines, pewter objects tend to be fairly inexpensive.  When you visit Malaysia you may even be able to watch as artisans pour molten pewter into steel molds.

Depending on your interests, a pewter card holder may be of some use in your office as well as your home.  Chances are, you can find dozens of card holders with interesting and attractive designs on them.  Even if your office does not have an Asian theme to it, these card holders will still fit perfectly.  You may  also want to keep this type of card holder in your home.  While you may not want to fill it with your  own business cards, you can always place ones that you collect from others in the holder.  If you keep this object on your desk, it may be heavy enough to serve as a paperweight, and also easy enough to spot when you are looking for a number that hasn’t made its way into your address book.

A number of people also enjoy shopping for pewter mugs.  If you can find one that matches a card holder, it may make a perfect object to keep pens and pencils in.  Needless to say, if you want a special cup to use for coffee or other beverages, a pewter cup will always have a distinctive look and level of appeal.

Individuals that are looking for something to decorate your home, pewter photo frames and clocks from Malaysia are sure to add a charming accent.  Since you will find a wide variety of themes and sizes, you may even want to purchases one item for every room in your home.  As you learn more about the culture of Malaysia during your visit, you may also want to look for traditional souvenirs made from pewter that remind you of interesting legends or cultural symbols.

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Kimono – Part of the Japanese Culture

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Japanese Kimono
Japanese Kimono

The kimono has, like the Mexican poncho, had a large influence on global fashion as we know it. This Japanese garment is simply one of those traditional items that has captured the imaginations of designers the world over. Thanks to that inspiration, many fashion houses produce clothing with distinctive kimono flair. However, this garment has also been coming along with the Japanese people for many centuries and is an integral part of their culture, even today in our modern times.

In the past

In the history of Japan, kimonos have been worn by men, women and children. The design, color and decoration on a kimono can denote many things from gender to age and even your marital status.

While the design of the kimono has evolved and adapted to changing times with the world, it has remained distinctly recognizable throughout. Men have always worn more conservatively colored and designed kimonos while women may be found wearing vibrant colors and even floral designs. The sash that holds the kimono closed is called an obi, tying in a simple knot at the back of the garment. The coloring of men’s kimonos includes masculine colors such as black, brown and blue.

Additions to the kimono

With the change of the seasons come a change in fabrics and indeed a change in name. The kimono worn in the summer months is made of a lighter material and is called a yukata. This summer kimono is often more cheerfully colored than its colder weather counterpart.

In addition to a kimono, men may sometimes wear pleated pants called hakama. You may have seen these pants in martial arts films before; they are worn under a man’s kimono. In addition to the hakama, there is another traditional Japanese garment worn with the kimono by the men, it is called a haori. The haori is a jacket-like garment, also worn over the kimono and often paired with the hakama. This is traditional bridegroom attire for Japanese men who are getting married. The haori is held closed by a cord of braided material that is then tied into an elaborate knot.

Unmarried Japanese women used to wear a long, flowing kimono to the ankles with large sleeves. They called this a Fulisode and it was often brightly colored. To denote her marital stated, a married Japanese woman would wear a kimono with shorter sleeves.

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Kimono
Kimono