January had just passed and 2019 proves that new-year changes are more than welcomed to happen, similar to the rentable, auctioned-off boyfriends from online shopping malls that you can bring over to your auntie’s Chinese New Year gathering.
Well, since your Asian relatives have more than just social and career expectations towards you, why not visit these locations and learn new skills to truly show off to your Asian families instead and make them wonder in awe? And no, you don’t need to rent a hot boyfriend just to impress them this time around…
Cooking classes at LaZat
Learn a traditional Malaysian dish at LaZat and go home like a professional cook! Located at the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, this prestigious cooking school don’t just give out instructions. Instead, the whole experience is so authentically Malaysian, it has long been a favourite activity by international travellers.
The class starts off with a tour to a local market, where the host explains and narrates local stories while shopping for ingredients. Once returned from the market, do take a moment to appreciate the façade of the beautiful house where the activity takes place. With the ingredients prepared, cooking has never been so elegant (read: easy). Then once you have mastered the way of cooking a mouth-watering dish like char kuey teow, have lunch with the hosts and other fellow travellers that further broadens your mind regarding food and culture. Now, go and show off your new skills and knowledge to your ever-sceptical relatives when they come over.
Handcrafted Kuih Angku Magnet
Whip out these adorable kuih Nyonya inspired fridge magnets whenever your grandmother starts interrogating your social life and let her adore the handcrafted gift as you quietly leave the room. The class is conducted in Penang, so take the chance for a weekend getaway while you bring home an authentic Baba Nyonya gift that is hand-made. Located right smack in George Town city, spare an hour or two learning this unique and interesting experience.
Although it’s the thought that matter, these glossy looking ceramic magnets look hazardously appetising, so you can be rest assured that no one will have the heart to decline your gift.
BeesWax Wrapping Workshop at the Hive
Since environmentalism is the current trend and thankfully being practised, have a go at learning the know-hows on making some earth-friendly beeswax wrappers. Plastic has already become the problem of the century and taking small steps in changing our single-use habits helps. These wrappers are eco-friendly and reusable, as you can always recoat the beeswax on the cotton when it washes away after a while. The ingredient contains natural preservatives, so the food lasts longer too!
Located in the heart of Bangsar, have a weekend off for this workshop and greet the owner, Claire Sancelot, who represented the United Nation’s awarded organisation, Zero Waste Malaysia, for the recipients’ contribution to Sustainable Development Goals in the country.
Plus, the bulk store sells an abundance of sustainable food items and daily needs, like metal straws.
Learn Beading in Borneo
If you plan on visiting Borneo soon, try looking out for the beading workshop that teaches you how to make your own pieces of jewellery. Hosted by Eleanor Goroh, a local artist who has been the propagating on the heritage and cultural importance of beading of the indigenous communities in Borneo. After learning that each beading design has a specific and intrinsic meaning of the indigenous folklore that was passed down from generations, Elanour intends to share her knowledge with the public. She conducts beading workshops that not only teaches you how to bead, but also recounts stories and histories that had existed along with the practice.
When you go home, gift the pieces of jewellery to your mother and decorate it with meaningful stories that you have learned along the way. Entertain your family with knowledge and let them adore your beautiful mind.
Learn Batik Painting at MyBatik
Living in a multicultural nation certainly comes with many perks; one of it is multicultural fashion. Amaze your family members during a gathering with a self-painted batik skirt paired with a beautiful cheongsam top. Situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this workshop cum gallery cafe is renowned for its educational classes on batik-painting. With friendly instructors and assistance, the class guarantees a peaceful evening where you can unleash your inner creativity.
Linger at their gallery for a nice quiet stroll surrounded by beautiful and colourful batik artworks that decorate the walls. Then if you have an extra hour or two, have a cup of tea at the Green Tomato Café for a relaxing closure. The class fees start at MYR53 per person.
Heritage tours are one of the more hands-on approaches to history lessons. Now, every time your great grandfather argues that millennials have no idea about the past, casually whip out some interesting facts regarding the origins of Kuala Lumpur!
Why Kuala Lumpur? Because now you can conveniently book a heritage tour along with a hotel room at the Cosmo Hotel. Its City Discovery Tour is led by Jane Rai, an award-winning friendly and educated guide. Find out how Masjid Jamek came to be and visit one of the oldest café bars and cinemas in Malaysia while she guides you to one of the tastiest Indian snacks and dessert restaurants. The package is priced at MYR288 per person and it includes a one-night stay, one breakfast, lunch and dinner for two, including free access to the gym and WI-FI connectivity.
KL Sketch Nation
Is your cousin showing off his photography on cool architecture? In return, how about you showing off your fresh artistic skills on free-hand sketches of Kuala Lumpur architecture? Although this activity no doubt requires a certain degree of drawing skills, do not fret because no one is judging! This independent art movement is organised by a group of young architecture graduates who strives to celebrate the sketching of local environment while encouraging a more sensitive nation through arts. There are no instructors and basically no rules on how you want to draw the lines. Just be respectful of the public space and have fun!
This community moves from one location to another in Kuala Lumpur, so you can stack up a collection of KL’s most prominent and memorable sketches in your portfolio. Honestly, this activity is less on impressing others and more about self-fulfilment and enjoyment of doing arts.