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Kebaya

MULTINATIONAL NOMINATION FOR THE INSCRIPTION OF KEBAYA ONTO THE UNESCO REPRESENTATIVE LIST OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY

Kebaya National Heritage Board 

Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will be jointly nominating kebaya onto the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Kebaya, an upper garment traditionally made from lightweight fabrics and typically adorned with intricate embroidery, is traditionally worn by women from Southeast Asia. This would mark Singapore’s first multinational nomination, and is also the first multinational nomination involving all four countries.

The four countries agreed to work together on this multinational nomination as the kebaya represents and celebrates the region’s rich shared history, promotes cross-cultural understanding and continues to be actively produced and worn by many communities across Southeast Asia. The multinational nomination also presents an opportunity for countries to promote and celebrate this shared cultural heritage found in the region.

The four countries aim to submit the nomination documents to UNESCO in March 2023. The results are expected to be announced in end 2024.

Find out more about kebaya in NHB’s national inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

 Kebaya on Roots

More details on the multinational nomination are available in the media release.