The Asian culture is so rich that it is difficult to list all the things it makes it so typical! Nevertheless, when we talk about something representing the culture of a country, we often think about traditions and former handicrafts. In Asia, we can observe so many old crafts; some of them are still very popular and practiced by locals, although some others would need to be revived. Anyway, Asian crafts are so various, in terms of materials and skills they required.
Thus, Southeast Asia is very famous for its several kinds of crafts. Of course, the most well-known work of art is Angkor Wat, the world’s biggest temple, which makes Cambodian people proud of their heritage. All temples we can admire on the Angkor site are full of fine and impressive carvings on the stone walls, columns, ceilings, bas-reliefs, both inside and outside! Their beauty and majesty have achieved a proven reputation.
Cambodia is one of the Southeast Asian countries which have a lot of handicrafts to revive. Thus, countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia try to perpetuate some crafts, such as weaving. Indeed, Laos’ oldest crafts remain hand-woven cotton and/or silk fabrics. Philippines are also noticed by its know-how in weaving banana fibers or other kinds of vegetal materials for making clothes, boxes, hats, baskets... Besides, some other crafts like wood carving, silverware, lacquer ware, jewelry and weaponry still exist and keep providing jobs for Southeast Asian people.
We can also find those crafts in other Asian countries, but East Asia styles of handicrafts are a bit different from the ones of their neighbors. For example, China’s most characteristic former crafts are embroidery and porcelain. There were used a lot for clothing and tableware.
As well, pottery and lacquer are largely spread in Japan. The items made with those two crafts were used for chopsticks, bottles or personal accessories. They were used since very long time in daily life of Japanese people.
Indeed, in Korea, some pieces dating from the Bronze Age (6th or 5th century before J.C) have been found during archeological digs. They were made with metal and used for bell gongs, for instance. Then, Korea had also a long date handicraft which consisted on making jewelry with jade, crystal, glass, agate and even pure gold pieces. This was a really fine artwork which would deserve to be reviving.
Thus, handicrafts in Asia are as numerous as beautiful! They contribute in many ways to promote the Asian culture and former civilizations. Passing on those technical skills and know-how to the next generations is really important to preserve them, as we can keep admiring how gifted and creative are Asian people.