Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rattan Craze

If you happen to be in Johor Bahru and looking for rattan basketry and local handicrafts, do drop by JARO, the Johore Area Rehabilitation Organization. No, it's NOT a drug addict rehabilitation centre.

It's a place I fondly remember in my growing years. And when I visited the place recently, I found that nothing has changed and it brought back those old feelings I had when I was young and carefree. The exterior nad interior of the building is still the same. They still make the same rattan doll house and miniature bed sets. I was so immersed with reminiscing and going through all their products that I didn't take any pictures. Next time.

This quaint centre is a sheltered workshop that caters to the rehabilitation requirements for the physically and intellectually disabled, spastics, visual or hearing impaired and the chronically ill. The inmates have produced simple yet beautiful items from rattan baskets, small rattan furnitures like a child's rocking horse, handsewn ragdolls and animal toys to many household items like letter pocket-holders, tissue box covers, handbags and purses made of the local batik.

I bought a rattan laundry basket and a chest to keep my bags.

Rattans can give a room a very homely and warm effect.

I had these many years ago, but you know what, whenever I look at them, I just feel so nostalgic!

I don't know why, is it the 70's child living in JB syndrome? My biggest regret is losing a yellow handsewn monkey. I still think of it now and then. The soft toys made in JARO are just... different. They're so simple, they sit quietly in a corner waiting for a little one to take them home, but you see so much love and life exuding from their button eyes and embroidered smile. It's almost like a home-made toy made with love by your grandma. Nothing fancy but it's filled with warmth.

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