Chinese trader carries on family tradition of weaving ketupat casings

Some of Ting's ketupat casings ready for sale.

SIBU, May 6: The art of weaving ketupat casings is mostly associated with the Muslim community. However a Chinese family with more than 20 years’ experience is also adept in making the casings.

Ting Miew Ju, 31, and her mother, Lau Siew Zeok, 69, operate a stall selling local produce at the central market here.

“Every Ramadan, we will be very busy making ketupat casings due to the high demand. On a normal day, we are still making it but in lesser amounts as demand is low,” said Ting.

Both of them learned the skill from her grandmother who is a Melanau.

“I started to pick up the skill when I was just three-years-old. It has been more than 20 years now that my mother and I have being making it continuously every year especially during the fasting month,” she said.

Ting busy making ketupat casings to meet demand.

Ting’s father is a sailor with a Kuching-based company and only returns once in few months.

“For each casing which is made from nipah leaves, it will take me just two minutes to make it. And so too my mother,” she proudly revealed.

The nipah leaves which are available in abundance are bought from a middleman who sends the leaves to their stall every morning.

Ting claimed that despite the Movement Control Order (MCO), demand for ketupat casing is still sky-high.

Another seller of ketupat casings at the Sibu Central Market.

There are also more than 10 stalls in the central market selling the item.

“On an average a day, we can sell up to 50 bundles at RM10 each. Each bundle has 10 casings. During this MCO period we are operating our stall for fewer hours from 6.30am to 4pm only,” she added. — DayakDaily