Life is often unpredictable, often throwing curveballs and surprises at us out of thin air, but amidst the uncertainty, there’s one thing that Malaysians can count on: at some point in their lives, someone will present them with a pewter gift.
It may be in the form of a tankard, a photo frame or a tea sets. It might even be a souvenir plate with a retirement message on it, and you’ll proudly put it in your display cabinet as a talking point for when guests come to the house.
The metal alloy primarily made up of tin — known as pewter — means something to Malaysians, thanks to the popularity of Royal Selangor, a global, household Malaysian company renowned for its fine craftsmanship of pewter products.
Sending someone a Royal Selangor gift conveys thoughtfulness, appreciation and that little expense was spared to procure a gift in the pewter category. Often enough, it’s presented to friends from other countries as a showcase of one of the country’s best and most unique products — an affirmation of the “Boleh” spirit, if you will.
The company set up three visitor centres some years back; in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore, to introduce visitors to its history, factory, the process of pewter making and products. Even though their gifts are so beloved and distinctly us (Malaysian,) I suspect most locals, myself included, wouldn’t know how to explain the significance of pewter to outsiders, let alone accurately describe what it is. Continue reading