Diversity encouraged in Johor cultural events

Raven Kumar (front row, third from right) with Johor health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon (to his right) and representatives of various groups during the Chinese New Year celebration at Fo Guang Shan Hsingma Si temple in Skudai, Johor.

TO FOSTER unity, Johor government will now include representatives from the state’s various racial and religious groups in all cultural events.

State unity, heritage and culture committee chairman K. Raven Kumar announced the setting up of Johor Harmony Committee with members consisting of religious and ethnic group leaders.

“This will include celebrations such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Deepavali.

“We hope the initiative will allow us to better understand each other’s cultures and customs, paving the way for closer ties among Johoreans,” he said in an interview.

The first event attended by committee members and representatives from different ethnic groups was a Chinese New Year celebration at Fo Guang Shan Hsingma Si temple in Skudai.

When contacted, Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association president Ho Sow Tong said the initiative would ensure the spirit of unity among the people.

“There is so much we do not know about other religions and cultures around us, and I think that the time has come for us to address this.

“It is also a good way to expose children and teenagers to other cultures around them.

“It is very important that we instil the spirit of unity among children from a young age.”

Johor Sarawak Community Association president Johnathan George Jantai expected the state-supported effort to help expose Johoreans to different communities from Borneo.

“The Chinese New Year celebration at the temple was the first time our association was invited to such an event, and we are grateful to be included.

“We will also extend invitations to other groups during our Hari Gawai celebration this year.

“Previously, we only had Sarawakians attending the event, but we should now also involve people from other groups as it is a good opportunity to enlighten Johoreans about our culture,” said Johnathan.

Johor Unity Ambassador Lim San Shein pointed out a need to engage more youths in such events.

“Youths are key stakeholders and future leaders of the nation,” he said.

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Unity , Johor , Harmony Committee , Culture , religion , races


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