Traditional Malaysian Costumes for Kids

Written by josh victor
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Traditional Malaysian Costumes for Kids
Malaysian children have a choice of a few different outfits to wear. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Malaysians enjoy a vibrant and lively culture from the island nation of Malaysia. It combines aspects of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Oceanian culture. Its people offer a unique cultural heritage including food, music and dress. There are a number of outfits children can wear based on Malaysian culture.

Baju Kurung

Girls may wear the baju kurung, the traditional female outfit. This is a blouse that goes down to the knees and is typically worn over a longer skirt. To complete the outfit, the child may wear a scarf or shawl. The baju kurung was first used when Malays adopted Islam, which required females to wear more modest dress.

Baju Melayu

The baju melayu, the traditional male outfit, is a loose tunic worn over trousers. Boys usually also wear a sampin that can be described as a sarong that surrounds the hips. To complete the outfit, boys may wear a brightly coloured songkok hat.

Kaftan Dress

Another outfit for girls is the kaftan dress, a lightweight dress that can be worn either short or long. It comes in many different colours including white, blue, orange and green. Various designs or patterns can be stitched into it as well. The kaftan hangs loosely on the body with large overhangs around the arms and legs. Intricate versions of the kaftan can also be worn for the wedding ceremony.

Other Cultures

Chinese and Indian cultures are also an important part of Malaysian culture because of the significant population of Chinese and Indians in the country. South Asian girls typically wear the sari, which is a loosefitting colourful robe that can be worn in a number of different styles. Chinese girls have mostly adopted Western-style dress but also wear the traditional cheongsam, a silk skirt that is often red with intricate designs. Girls wear these a little more casually and loose fitting than adults.

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