Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sumbangsih Mulia Complex Highlights Brunei's Heritage










Adib Noor
Bandar Seri Begawan
Sunday, May 15, 2016

BRUNEI is truly the land of unexpected treasures, and rightly so. In the busy Beribi Industrial Area is the Sumbangsih Mulia Complex, a unique venue which aims to highlight the heritage of the sultanate via traditional handicrafts and local delights.

The Sumbangsih Mulia Complex was officially opened in 2007 and houses close to a hundred vendors operating in the open food court area as well as a separate air-conditioned section that showcases hand-made intricate local handicraft for sale.

One of the main aim of the establishment of the complex is to help local business entrepreneurs to have a place to sell their products and handicrafts and over the years, there is no denying it has done exactly that.

“We’ve been operating here since it was opened, and it does get busy during lunch time especially during the weekdays,” said Layla who works for Soto CT, one of the popular vendors in the food court.

“It’s never a slow day here, each and every day we will sell more than a hundred bowls of soto. And it’s always great to see our regulars who come by and would just say “Biasa” (‘the usual’),” she added.

The soto seller shared that the venue has always been a popular spot thanks to the nearby businesses which surrounds the area as well as being a popular tourist spot for tour operators.

“Here we are always spoilt for choice. Thanks to the many food vendors, we have a lot of variety to choose from, and honestly it is good value for money,” shared Rafie a sales representative of a local advertising company.

In the air-conditioned section of the complex, visitors can take a closer look at the many local handicrafts such as songkok (skull cap), sinjang (long cloth) and many more.

“Here we offer handmade customised songkok and our customers get to choose the materials and even the design of the songkok. It’s been extremely busy lately and we are in the process of taking in the final orders as we are almost fully booked as people are already preparing for Hari Raya,” shared Nis of Syarikat Asrina, one of the vendors who specialises in making songkok at Sumbangsih Mulia.

Apart from songkok, the specialised section of the complex is filled with other ‘treasures’ from the first floor to the second floor and is one of the places to go to for local handicrafts and even wedding preparations.

“Our sinjang is handmade and is limited, some costs up to $1,000 depending on the materials and how intricate the design and details of the traditional garment,” said Ahmad one of the Sinjang makers at Sumbangsih.

The Sumbangsih Mulia Complex is open from as early as 6am and as late as 6pm daily. So drop by for a taste of Brunei.

The Brunei Times

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