The state of Kelantan is known as the ‘cradle of Malay culture’ for having an overwhelming population of Malays (93 percent) and the rest made up of Chinese, Indians and Thai. The Kelantanese have preserved their customs, traditions and cultures well over the years. Some of their most memorable activities are flying giant ‘Wau’ kites and playing ‘Gasing’, a game of spinning tops.
History dates the origin of Kelantan from the ascension of a Thai prince Long Yunus to the throne. The state then went through Thai and British influences before becoming part of Malaysia in 1957. The name ‘Kelantan’ means ‘Land of Lightning’ evident by the many thunderstorms that rock the state each year.
While the economy of Kelantan is based on agriculture such as rice, rubber and tobacco, the state is much more famous for their Malay handicrafts which include ‘Batik’, a silky garment woven with intricate patterns, ‘kain songket’, a cloth made from gold and silver thread, mats, silverware, paintings and wood carvings.
Tourism is a growing industry as more and more people flock to see the rich Malay culture that is inherent in the lifestyles of Kelantan’s people. A trip here will surely absorb you into the knowledge of Malay culture and traditions in Malaysia.