05 February, 2021 1:02 PM

Maybank Foundation Announces “Weaving Tales” Short Story Competition 2021

Maybank Foundation in collaboration with the ASEAN Foundation are pleased to invite writers across ASEAN to participate in a short story competition on the theme “Preservation and Acknowledgment of the Ancient Art of Textile Weaving Across ASEAN”.


The competition aims to mobilize writers to share their experiences and articulate their vision for ASEAN’s rich tapestries of cultural heritage, their concerns surrounding the struggles women weavers face in preserving textile weaving and hopes for the ancient art in modern times, in the format of a short literature. The stories must display subject matters on the peaceful nature, inclusiveness, challenges and sustainability of the weaving tradition.

The “Weaving Tales” Short Story Competition is aligned with the direction that Maybank Foundation’s flagship programme, Maybank Women Eco-Weavers is taking in terms of preserving the traditions and cultural heritage across the region. It also encapsulates Maybank Foundation’s commitment to strengthen the ASEAN identity as aligned to the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 and building on the aspirations of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are delighted to announce the short story competition for ASEAN citizen, as it provides an important opportunity to encourage people to engage with issues of importance to this region that is the preservation of heritage through handwoven fabrics. The threat of extinction over our cultural treasures is often underplayed. Through this competition, I am looking forward to seeing passion and creativity for our shared heritage reflected in the stories,” said Shahril Azuar Jimin, CEO of Maybank Foundation.

"The Southeast Asia region possesses a rich and beautifully diverse culture of weaving. For example, there are communities in Papua island of Indonesia who handcraft the woven bag Noken with wood fibre and leaves, and we also have communities from Myanmar who weave elegant monastic robes using lotus silk and not forgetting from Malaysia the Pua Kumbu is a woven textile make using a combination of ikat dyeing and backstrap loom weaving by the Iban community that are endemic to the jungles of Borneo. Those are only some of our great cultural richness that we are preserving for our future generation. This effort aims to not only promote the social and economic potential of our wavers, but also to affirm our ASEAN identity as people who share common cultural practices," said Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.

20 awards will be given to winners who will each receive USD250 as cash prize. Besides monetary wins, the selected stories will be included in the new Maybank Women Eco-Weavers book and honoured with a personalised certificate. To cultivate discussion and awareness on ASEAN textile weaving, the book will be widely circulated across ASEAN and globally.

Participants may only submit one story written in English that should not exceed 500 words by 15 February 2021.

A panel of judges composed of professional judges and panel judges from the Maybank Foundation and the ASEAN Foundation will determine the winning stories based on the criteria of content, originality and impact. The Award Ceremony will be held online upon completion of the competition.

Maybank Women Eco-Weavers is a programme that promotes traditional textiles globally in a sustainable manner whilst creating economic independence and financial inclusion for women weaver across ASEAN region. It is currently running in four countries namely Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Maybank Foundation is the corporate responsibility arm of the Maybank Group, which seeks to positively impact communities in markets that Maybank operates. The Foundation’s programs are focused on six key pillars which are Education, Community Empowerment, Healthy Living, Arts & Culture and Environmental Diversity.

The ASEAN Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN.

For more information about the competition, please visit https://www.aseanfoundation.org/maybank_women_eco_weavers_weaving_tales_short_story_competition

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