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Sunday, July 31, 2016

KDM cultural dance troupe to represent M'sia at global fest

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah's Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) cultural dance troupe has been selected to represent Malaysia for the first time at the 3rd Global Indigenous Peoples Performing Arts Festival in Taiwan, from July 29 until Aug 8.

Malaysia-Taiwan Trade and Economic Association (Culture Bureau) Director Datuk Chua Soon Bui, who headed the Malaysia's delegation, said the dance troupe will be performing three dances, namely the 'Huminodun' (Legend of Kadazandusun), the 'magunatip' (Murut Warrior Dance) and the 'Malaysia Truly Asia' which showcases the diversity of Malaysia's culture.

She said the main organisers from Malaysia coordinating with the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Council are the Yayasan Kesenian Orang Asli and Malaysia-Taiwan Trade and Economic Association (Culture Bureau).

"This is the first time Malaysia has been invited to participate in the 3rd Global Indigenous Peoples Performing Arts Festival in Taiwan.

"We are privileged to be invited to the global event to showcase to the world the music and dances of KDM from Sabah.

"We are thankful for receiving the support of the Malaysia Tourism Board and Sabah Tourism Board," she said.

Chua, who is also Yayasan Kesenian Orang Asli Secretary, said Malaysia will be showcasing the KDM cultural dances together with nine countries, namely Taiwan as the host, Australia, New Zealand, USA (Hawaii), Chile, Fiji, Tahiti and Swaziland.

She emphasised that the global event is not a competition but an opportunity for cultural exchange and integration among the participants.

"Cultural values and heritage should be preserved for the benefit of future generations as this will ensure the continuity of each indigenous peoples' identity.

"It will also be interesting to learn about the similarities among the Austronesian indigenous groups while building friendship and strengthening bonds for a peaceful world," she said.

To a question, Chua said the invitation to select a dancing troupe to represent Malaysia was a painstaking task to the organisers as there are so many groups and sub-ethnic groups that can demonstrate their colourful and beautiful cultures and arts.

"KDM, being one of the biggest communities in Sabah, and its dancing troupes are fortunate to be selected to represent Malaysia in the international event.

"They have vast experiences showcasing their traditional and cultural dances, apart from having maturity in cultural preservation and heritage, historical records and values as well.

"In this event, it is much regretted that we can't showcase the indigenous peoples' arts and performances from Sarawak and the peninsula this time around. Hence, we will take turns for the next global festival," she said.

Chua said the delegation aspires to promote Malaysia as an indigenous people's tourism destination in view of the big number of indigenous groups and cultural diversity in the country.

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