What has batik got to do with badminton? If you head to the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, for the Malaysia Open, you can learn to create batik designs, for free.
Heeding Tourism, Culture and Arts Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri’s call to promote the art form, children’s art centre, 7th Tone Creative, has a booth outside the stadium where the public can indulge in batik.
The booth is part of the Malaysia Festival, which features an array of activities, food, live bands, fashion and cultural shows.
A 7th Tone Creative staff member, Fong Wei Xin, said the company enables children to develop creativity and imagination through education by creating an easy and convenient systematic learning platform.
“We are delighted to be a part of the Malaysia Open,” said Fong.
Fong added 7th Tone Creative decided on showcasing batik following a call by Nancy for more locals to promote it.
On Sept 23, 2021, Nancy expressed hope that MPs would wear batik to Parliament every Thursday.
That idea was finally realised on Oct 28. Nancy said that it was a recognition of the Malaysian batik producers and hoped it would motivate them. She also said it was time to get Malaysians to appreciate local designs.
Before Nancy’s call, Berjaya Corp Bhd’s then chief executive officer, Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasheed had, in April 2021, announced batik as the group’s official attire.
“Our company does many art forms, but for the badminton tournament, we decided to promote batik, as it is part of our heritage,” said Fong.
“We are not charging a fee. The response has been good, as many adults want to create their own batik designs.
“I expect to be busier over the weekend.”
Fong said the company, based in Cheras, also conducts workshops and exhibitions.
Besides the ‘batik booth’, fans can participate in several other activities organised by title sponsor Petronas and Yonex, which has a full-sized badminton court near the stadium entrance.