Sabahan in Johor sells, rents traditional bridal attire

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Nur Minda shows some of the traditional costumes she has at her boutique in Johor. — Bernama photo

JOHOR BAHRU (Sept 15): A bridal clothing store at Pasar Muafakat Sabah, Masai, here which started operating six years ago provides opportunities for Sabahans to don traditional clothing when the situation calls for it.

Nur Minda Munabirul, 54, who comes from the land below the wind, not only sells traditional bridal clothing but also provides rental services under her company Bikram Bari Enterprise.

She said the clothes, which include traditional attire for brides from the Bajau and Suluk ethnic groups were sourced from suppliers in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, and Semporna.

“Before opening this business, I was determined to make it convenient for brides-to-be from Sabah who live in Johor to find bridal wear so that they don’t have to go back to Sabah to find one.

“The traditional wedding dress for both ethnic groups is more or less the same, namely Batawi clothes for the bride and Lapi for the groom. It is common for Sabahans to come here to find a wedding dress. Even if they don’t buy it, they will rent it,” said the mother of six when met by Bernama, here yesterday.

Nur Minda who has been living in Johor for over 10 years said that traditional wedding dresses are made of velvet material, sold at around RM350 for a pair and cost RM300 to rent for the bride and groom.

The woman from Tampi-Tampi, Semporna said that various traditional clothes including those usually worn by the Bajau and Suluk ethnic groups during celebrations and weddings, such as Sambra and Sablay clothes, are also available in her shop.

Although the business she runs with her husband, Bari Dajih, 62, is small-scale, she is still happy that she can help brides-to-be make a choice and not having to fly to Sabah to get a wedding dress.

She also hoped that her business would help preserve the culture and traditions of the Sabahan community in this state.

“This traditional bridal dress is a must for the Bajau and Suluk ethnic groups to wear on the wedding day, on the second day they can wear modern clothes such as gowns and so on.

“Even if we live far from the country of birth, that culture should be preserved especially to educate our children about the privileges and uniqueness of our culture,” she said. — Bernama