News & Updates

Masidi moots folklore promotion in schools

KOTA KINABALU: Folklore and traditional music and dance will be widely promoted in Sabah if the ‘powers that be’ in the educational and cultural fields have their way.

Realising the importance to keep this tradition alive, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun has proposed that the relevant authorities work closely with the State Education Department to ensure that the message gets across, especially to the young children.

“We will look for a way to work with the State Education Department on how we can incorporate the folklore and traditional music and dance into the system, It will not be absorbed as part of the curriculum but more like a friendly competition to instil the love and interest amongst the schoolchildren so as to keep our tradition alive,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after launching the 8th Sabah International Folklore Festival 2013 (SIFF) on Tuesday evening, he described Sabahans as natural when it comes to music.

“We are exposed to traditional music from young, and our interest builds up from there. But of course, we have to find ways to ensure that the interest can be expanded. Take the SIFF this year, for the first time, the Sabah Cultural Board has decided to focus on folklore and traditional music, this is a trial basis and if we see the potential, we will adsorb this event as part of the festival’s highlights, apart from the dancing, which has obviously lured a lot of enthusiasts since it was introduced,” said Masidi.

He said maybe in the near future, apart from luring more participation, they would also come up with other programmes that would attract more people to come in.

“Because the reason of having such event is to have people watching. It will be a failure if we do not have an audience. If an event is only held just for us to enjoy, then we would not have achieved our target, which is to educate, share and promote our tradition, culture and folklores for all to know,” he said.

He said SIFF is an avenue for both participants and the audience to learn the global folklores.

Touching on the event, Masidi said he was impressed with the performances from the participating countries, namely, South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

“Take the performance from Sarawak, they were able to incorporate sape (traditional guitar-like instrument) into the music and performed it in the pop and modern genre … I was impressed with them,” he said.

Masidi hoped that local music enthusiasts would also do the same with the available traditional instruments in Sabah.

Source: Borneo Post

Japan a model of progress and culture: Masidi

Kota Kinabalu: Sabahans should look at Japan as a model of an advanced nation, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He said there are not many advanced countries in the world which have people who are very, very cultured like Japan, adding that the Japanese have high regards for their culture despite their country being an industrialised nation.

“Not many have done what the Japanese have done.

They have progressed without sacrificing their culture,” he said at the launching of the Sabah International Folk Art Exhibition, here, Tuesday.

Masidi said Sabahans should learn how the Japanese have kept the ‘fine balance’ of progress and culture.

Fourteen artists of various art forms, from beadwork, pottery, calligraphy to dance and music, have been specially flown here from Japan to display their creations for the Sabah Folk Art Exhibition, held in conjunction with the Sabah International Folk Art Festival. This year’s folk art exhibition is the fourth.

They are Kazuo Washida (photographer), Takahirto Murakami (painter), Hitomi Iwano (painter), Hiroko Terao (calligrapher), Yoshiko Washida (bead weaving), Miyako Kami (bead weaving), Hiroshige Kato (pottery), Hiroyuki Kami (pottery), Takashi Miyagawa (pottery), Kaoru Miyagawa (florist), Arie Tomita (synthesizer composer), Rie Mikami (Quena player), Terumixhi Matsubayashi (choreographer) and Takahiko Sato.

Their work will be on display at the Sabah Art Gallery Conservatory, here, from June 25 to 30.

The organiser of the event has set the theme of the said exhibition as ‘Understanding Eastern Culture’.

Meanwhile, Chief Consular of Japanese to Sabah, Hirofumi Morikawa, hoped that the exhibition by some of Japan’s best would ignite interest in the Japanese arts among Sabahans. “I hope more Sabahans will visit Japan to witness our culture,” he said, adding that from July 1, Malaysians will no longer need to have a visa to visit Japan.

Among those present were Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Sabah Cultural Board Chairman Datuk Seri Wences Anggang, his deputy Jaimin Samintah, Sabah Cultural Board General Manager Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai and Manager and Curator of the Sabah Art Gallery Jennifer P. Linggi.

Source: Daily Express

Smaller-scale Folklore Festival this time

Kota Kinabalu: The Eighth Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) from June 25-30 will be a celebration of goodwill, brotherhood and culture.

It is being held on a smaller scale this time – three nations to be exact.

Sabah Cultural Board Deputy Chairman Jaimin Samintah said on Monday the SIFF participants are not only promoting their respective cultures, here, but also peace, which is in line with this year’s theme “Peace through Culture”.

“Participants can take this opportunity to promote each other’s country, friendship and culture tourism,” he said before about 300 SIFF participants from Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea and Sarawak during their welcoming dinner, here.

Samintah also urged the participants to take the opportunity to learn the culture of others and visit the local tourist spots while in the State.

Sabah Cultural Board General Manager Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai meanwhile reiterated that this year’s SIFF will focus more on songs and music, instead of dance.

This is among reasons why SIFF had a smaller number of countries taking part, apart from the on-going renovation of its original venue, the Penampang Cultural Centre. Last year’s SIFF saw 18 countries participating.

“We want to experiment on folklore music and songs to participating nations,’ he said. He said there are already 80 entries for next year’s SIFF.

About 10 teams will take part in the folklore song event, while 40 schools are expected to take part in this year’s folklore dance.

The performances will be held at the Arts and Culture Department Complex auditorium.

Source: Daily Express

KK French’ip to help attract more French tourists

KOTA KINABALU: Collaborative effort is needed between France and the state of Sabah to develop the French language and culture in the state in order to attract French tourists to Sabah.

KK French Friendship Association (KK French’ip) founding president, Veronique Chapeland, said, Sabah is the most exotic place in the world and there is a need to attract French tourists to come here.

Chapeland believed that learning French culture would benefit Sabah and its people in terms of cultural exchange and tourism.

“Not many French people know about Sabah, and we need some sort of collaboration to make them know about the state and we want to be able to welcome them.

“It would be a bonus point to learn French, especially among tourism players, to lure French people to visit East Malaysia,” she said.

Chapeland, who is French and is currently residing in the state, added that most French tourists are making their stop in Kuala Lumpur and only a few fly onwards to Sabah.

“I have met with several Sabah people who have expressed their interest in learning our culture and this is where KK French’ip can plays its role.

“Bringing French culture here is new to the people and we hope to promote the language and culture through organizing social occasions, classes and workshops,” she said.

KK French’ip, established in 2012, currently has 47 members and have organized various activities such as free French and Malay language classes, cooking lessons and also co-organizing the European Union Film Festival.

On Saturday night, the association celebrated the official opening of its new office at Wisma Wanita here, where members gathered to exchange views and were entertained to performances in French.

The event was in conjunction with the French World Music Day also known as Fête de la Musique.

Dean of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s Center for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language, Prof. Dr. Vincent Pang Ah Fook, said, French language is one of the popular elective subjects among UMS students.

“Many of our undergraduate students have shown a high interest in learning the foreign language and I see KK French’ip as a platform for them to join and actually interact with others.

“Learning a language in a classroom alone is not effective. In the context of life, it is important for them to mix around and attend social gatherings and this is where our students can learn more,” he said.

Pang added that the centre would look into establishing a cooperation with KK French’ip as well as varsities in France in regards to educational development and improvement.

Source: Borneo Post

Tanjung Papat A retain trophy

Kota Kinabalu: Tanjung Papat A retained their Head of State Trophy, Sunday, despite facing stiff competition from the Brunei police rowing team in the 28th Dragon Boat Race in Tanjung Lipat, Likas on Sunday.

They beat seven other teams in the 800m International and Top Malaysia Teams in 3 minutes and 43 seconds, just one second faster than the Royal Brunei Police Sports Council team.

Team manager Shaiful Bahari Muin said his team was confident of retaining the title as they had worked for two months to get ready for the race.

“We wanted to move away from the Chief Minister Trophy this year so that other teams can cart away the title, but we did not want the head of state’s title to fall from the hands of visitors,” he said after receiving their prizes.

The team, which also received their sponsors from the Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, had in all five teams.

But only two teams – Tanjung Papat A and B – entered the annual race held in conjunction with the Dragon Boat Festival, Shaiful explained.

They took home the grand prizes including airfare trip to Balik Papan Indonesia, in the midst of preparing for their next race in Sarawak next year.

This year’s Dragon Boat race saw fifty-seven teams slide into the final races, which also saw visiting teams from Australia, Singapore and Brunei.

The event kicked off with a lion dance with 24 Chinese Drums performances and thereafter, a symbolic offering ceremony of throwing the glutinous rice cakes into the sea by head of Chinese Associations and Ministers.

The event was attended by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Norlida Jasni, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, Assistant Chief Minister in the Chief Minister Department Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Pang Yuk Ming, Sabah Chinese Cultural Association President Datuk Chau Tet On and Federation of Chinese Associations President Datuk TC Goh.

Source: Daily Express