Friday February 22, 2013
Clinging on to the sarong
By TASHNY SUKUMARAN
PETALING JAYA: Although seen as an anachronism by some, the humble sarong is the ultimate when it comes to comfort, say others.
Jordan Macvay, 39, for instance, has been wearing the sarong around the house for over 12 years now, and started wearing it even before he moved to Malaysia with his wife, who is a local.
“I wore it when I was still in Canada. My father-in-law sent me one and I put it on.
“Then, there was the moment when I realised that this thing is comfortable as heck!” said the media analyst.
“At first it was a pain to tie one on but now it comes pretty naturally. It even seems funny to me that many people don't know how to tie it.
“I'm surprised many people here don't wear it,” he said, adding that his in-laws had teased him for wearing a sarong while they donned modern shorts.
For H. Zach, the sarong is a reminder of her community during the time she was growing up and the friendliness of her neighbours.
“We all wore the sarong,” she said.
“My neighbours were nyonyas from Kedah, and they wore the sarong. All of us did. We'd go out wearing it. It's very comfortable.”
Engineer Fathi Faruq, 25, wears a sarong every day around the house, also prizing it for its comfort.
“I think the sarong is a major piece of Malaysian culture,” he said.
“Not just Malays wear it, every race does, and in different styles.”
Just one of the many looking forward to the upcoming Keretapi Sarong project, organised by non-profit organisation Random Alphabets, Fathi can't wait to board the LRT in his sarong tomorrow with Malaysians from all walks of life.
“This project is great because it helps keep the sarong tradition alive,” he said.
And while Zach will not be attending, she hopes the crowd will be bigger this year than last year's.
“It's communal and fun to go do something colourful with your friends,” she said.
And for Mat Salleh sarong enthusiast Macvay, who has more sarong than fingers, Keretapi Sarong is a “really awesome idea”.
“I think many people don't wear the sarong because they don't see others wearing it,” he lamented.
“It's time we made the sarong cool again!”