THE diversity of Malaysia’s multiracial community was evident at the launching of the South Seberang Prai district’s Visit Malaysia Year 2007 promotional campaign.
There were Malay congkak games, Indian silambam martial art and Chinese calligraphy among the various events at the launch held at the Kampung Sanglang Recreation Park in Nibong Tebal recently.
Perhaps the best showcase of the diversity was the kompang team from SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman.
The kompang, a percussion ins-trument made of goat hide, is usually played by Malays but the Nibong Tebal school has formed a multiracial team of Malay, Chinese and In-dian students.
Dressed in striking green baggy pants, yellow shirts, vests and kain samping (short sarong), the students mesmerised the crowd with their highly entertaining performance which included a formation routine.
Their dance steps and co-ordi-nation were simply captivating as they gracefully moved on stage to the rhythmic beats on their kompang.
They cleverly fused elements of acrobatic spins and hand gestures that are commonly used in the Ke-lantanese dikir barat to make their act more engaging.
The team took part in the natio-nal-level Pertandingan Paluan Kom-pang & Formasi 2006 (Kompang Beating and Formation Contest) in Taiping a fortnight ago.
Deputy Rural and Regional Deve-lopment Minister Datuk Zainal Abi-din Osman, who opened the event, commended the group for its mu-hibbah effort.
He said Penangites should put in greater effort to boost tourist arri-vals in the state.
An all-girls boria team from Teluk Ipil’s Gerakan Desa Wawasan took the crowd by surprise with their charming performance. This dance is commonly performed by an all-boys team.
The girls showed that they were just as good as the boys as they followed their leader to synchronously sing and dance to the bouncy number.
The Seberang Prai Municipal Council’s Cultural and Arts Group performed a delightful traditional Malay dance.
There was also a boat decorating competition participated by 14 fi-shermen who decked their vessels with the Jalur Gemilang, Penang flag and buntings.
The Fire and Rescue Department put up a mock rescue operation along the Krian River, using canoes, water scooters and boats.
Jawi assemblyman Tan Cheng Liang said this was the first time that a state tourism promotion event was held in South Seberang Prai.
“About 5,000 tourists have taken boat rides along the Krian River to watch fireflies at night since the place was promoted earlier this year.
“We hope the boat operators, seafood restaurants, transportation companies and other small and me-dium-scale enterprises will benefit from the tourism activities in this district,” she said.
Tan later assisted state Forestry Department officers to symbolically plant berembang mangrove tree saplings along the banks of the ri-ver.
She said the department had spent about RM30,000 to plant 1,000 saplings to help promote the breeding of fireflies in the area.
State Tourism Development and Environment Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow said residents in the districts should focus on the unique attractions in their areas to lure tourists.