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Thursday June 26, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday June 26, 2014 MYT 11:49:43 AM
by sheila sri priyaphotos by darran tan
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.
“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.
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.
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