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Cultural heritage: Running deep in Asia

Cultural heritage: Running deep in Asia

When we have our term abroad at uni we might take mementos from home such as our favourite blanket or plush toy (which we will keep secret), but what do we take with us to remind us of where we come from?

As omniculturalism becomes the norm for Gen Zs who’ve been hyper-exposed to the world’s plethora of cultures and people through the internet and the increasing accessibility of travel, we could be in danger of losing our own cultural identity.

Brands are taking notice of this and are keen to keep us grounded in our roots. Airline company Garuda Indonesia has switched its female flight attendants’ regular uniform to kebayas – traditional clothing worn in Indonesia – as a promotion of local identity and preservation of cultural heritage.


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In Japan, Japanese fashion label Trove has incorporated traditional Samurai styles into their clothing line, a nod to Japan’s rich history. In Singapore, digital video publisher Our Grandfather Story reminds us of timeless and often overlooked stories across Southeast Asia like shining a spotlight on a 86-year-old Teochew kueh master who can make kuehs with her eyes closed, and other stories that make us proud of our cultural roots.

This reflects our desire to stay connected to our roots as closer bonds between culture and individuality are increasingly forged. It’s all about strengthening our cultural ties and celebrating our heritage and belonging while at the same time embracing and expressing what makes us distinct and unique.

Understanding this, a tip to brands to win our hearts (and wallets) is to explore creative localising strategies that can help us bridge this juxtaposition of community and identity.