SOME 180 participants from 12 countries are participating in the 1st Asia Pacific Youth Folklore Festival 2023 hosted by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
The event was launched by the Selangor Women and Family Development, Welfare and Care Economy exco Anfaal Saari at Petaling Jaya Civic Centre on Saturday (Sept 23) morning.
The event is currently taking place at Laman MBPJ and PJ Civic Centre and will officially end on Sunday (Sept 24) night with a concert followed by a fireworks show in Laman MBPJ in Section 52, Petaling Jaya.
The Petaling Jaya mayor Mohamad Azhan Md Amir said in 2015 the Selangor State declared Petaling Jaya as a City of Arts.
"The city has been committed to promoting itself as an international tourism destination for culture and arts by hosting the international folklore festival since 2013.
"The folklore event is also classified as a government to government cultural project and in 2018 it was acknowledged as an International Cultural Exchange Programme by the Tourism, Culture and Arts Ministry.
"This 1st Asia Pacific Youth Folklore Festival 2023 is an accreditation given to Petaling Jaya to host for the first time by International Council of Organisation of Folklore Festival and Folk Arts (CIOFF) Malaysia which is a partner of UNESCO.
"This comes with economic opportunity as the city plays host. Besides cultural shows, there are displays and demonstrations of crafts, food and arts by 12 countries," he said.
Among the participating countries are Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lithuania, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Anfaal said the event also focuses on youths' involvement in arts.
"I was made aware that there are about 1,000 students from 27 schools in Petaling Jaya taking part in the career fair related to the arts held in conjunction with this event," she said.
"The youths will lead the country and how we educate them will determine their future," added Anfaal.
She added that the country’s harmony and variety of different cultures is a tourism attraction and this should be used to promote Malaysia as a tourism destination.
In conjunction with the event there was also an International Art Conference 2023 - Art and the city: Economic, Social, Environmental Transformation Towards Sustainability held on Saturday.
On Sunday, the mayors from the country would gather to exchange ideas on their best practices and the Sustainable Development Goals.
For details on the activities visit https://www.mbpj.gov.my/sites/default/files/asia_pacific_youth_folklore_festival_v2.pdf