KUCHING, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Sarawak beads crafter and entrepreneur Susananne Lee Min Lih, 24, had her hands full of beads, literally, as she strove in her handicraft shop at Ewe Hai Street to ensure that one thousand lanyards and one thousand handphone pouches made of the tiny decorative objects are completed by January 16.
She explained that her mother, Florence Sujang, who is noted for her skills in traditional beads craft had received an order for the items, which would be presented as souvenirs to delegates of the Asean Tourism Forum (ATF) 2014 to be held from Jan 16 until Jan 23 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.
"The six of us, that is, my mother, myself, my sister and three aunties started making them last month," she told Bernama here. Susananne, an Iban-Chinese, said each of them could make about 20 lanyards and 10 handphone pouches a day.
"It is not that difficult to complete a lanyard if one is already skilled. But for the handphone pouch, one must be patient and meticulous in the task that would take longer to finish," she said, adding, she learned the trade at the age of seven. She said orders for such items had kept pouring in: "On one occasion, we received 5,000 for lanyards, for a function in Kuala Lumpur".
For Florence, a mother of five who hails from Kampung Tenggelam, Simunjan, about 150 kilometres from Kuching, the expertise that she inherited from her mother "ought to be handed down to the children so that it would be preserved and not disappear".
Meanwhile, the ATF 2014 is expected to be attended by tourism ministers from Asean countries, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Their dialogue partners, China, Japan, Korea, India, Russia and Brazil as well as 1,600 delegates are expected to participate in the international forum.