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Published: Thursday June 26, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday June 26, 2014 MYT 11:49:43 AM

Celebration of diverse cultures

A dance troupe from Sarawak performing at the festival.

A dance troupe from Sarawak performing at the festival.

THE Petaling Jaya International Folklore Festival 2014 was a celebration of diverse cultures from different parts of the world.

Hundreds of participants from eight countries and six states, including Selangor, showcased their traditional culture at the event organised by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

The countries that participated were Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Iran, Egypt and Ghana.

Participants also showcased their traditional costumes while performing their traditional dances.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim launched the event at Jalan Yong Shook Lin recently.

Also present was mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad, who said the event was held in conjunction with the city’s eighth year anniversary and Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Melengas Dance Ensemble from Philippines showcased the diversified culture of the different ethnicity in their country
The Melengas Dance Ensemble from The Philippines showcasing the different cultures present in the island archipelago.

“We want to celebrate unity and foster better cultural understanding among locals and foreigners as well as promote Petaling Jaya as a tourism destination,” said Alinah.

Khalid said the festival would give locals the opportunity to experience the cultures of the eight participating countries.

Among the local performers were orang asli from Pulau Carey, known as the Mah Meri.

Their costumes and accessories were made using natural substances such as tree bark and coconut leaves. They are also noted for their wood carving.

Dancers from the Negri Sembilan New Cultural Arts Foundation performed the Bocek dance — so named after a type of freshwater fish. The performers mimicked the movement of a fish using a batik sarong.

The Heritage Association and Youth National Heritage Association (Utag) highlighted some folklore elements of Johor such as silat and kuda kepang, accompanied by music from a gamelan troupe.

Mah Meri group from the Carey Island performed at the Petaling Jaya International Fair 2014 Folklore Festival launch.
Among the local performers were orang asli from Pulau Carey, known as the Mah Meri.

Among the more interesting international performances were by the group from Ghana, who depicted their cultural heritage while some of the dance moves were influenced by African wildlife.

The Egyptian dance troupe was also a crowd favourite with male and female performers using long wooden sticks.

The dance troupe from Thailand’s performance was based on the country’s northeastern culture.

The Indonesians were represented by dancers from Bandung and Jakarta.

The Melengas Dance Ensemble from The Philippines showcased the different cultures present in the island archipelago.

Besides the cultural performances, visitors also took the opportunity to ride on eco-friendly vehicles such as the Eco Taxibikes.

The bikes were made by MBPJ staff for the Petaling Jaya International Fair 2013.

A wide range of handicraft from the participating countries and states were displayed and sold at the festival too.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region, Family & Community, PJ folklore festival

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