THE 33rd National Chinese Festival brought more visitors to the already bustling Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur.
The event kicked off with a cultural march around the city centre on Sunday.
More than 2,000 people took part in the 3km walk which began at Confucian Private Secondary School, passing by “old” streets such as Jalan Sultan, Jalan Tun HS Lee and Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock before reaching the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH), where a carnival displaying an assortment of Chinese delicacies from various clans and a cultural show was held.
Five gigantic figurines of Malaysia’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur’s founding father Yap Ah Loy, “The Soul of the Malaysian Chinese” Lim Lian Geok, prominent philanthropist Loke Yew and Tamil community leader K. Thamboosamy Pillay caught the eyes of bystanders as the group marched past.
The annual event was initiated by the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong). The Chinese assembly hall of each state takes turns to organise it annually.
Noting the importance of preserving historical heritage, Hua Zong president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah has called on the Government to make it a priority when developing the Bandar Malaysia and Greater KL projects.
He said these streets and buildings had witnessed the growth of the city.
“They have historical significance. They were built with the blood and sweat of our forefathers.
“I hope the Government can preserve and beautify these places while developing the city,” he said.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who attended the cultural show at night, urged the people to add new or local elements in traditional culture.
One reason why Chinese culture could be passed on for thousands of years was that it had evolved over time to be relevant to each generation, he said.
“That’s why Chinese culture has never faded away and is still flourishing,” he added.
Apart from showcasing a variety of Chinese cultural performances including opera, orchestra and dances, groups from other ethnic groups were also invited to jam with the Chinese performers to display the diversity of Malaysian culture.
Among the programmes were a mixed performance of Chinese drums, gendang, kompang and Zapin traditional dance by Hands Percussion Malaysia and Aswara Dance Company, as well as a mixed performance of an assortment of Chinese and Indian traditional musical instruments.
The show ended with a five-minute firework display.