Pupils of SK Long Pillah perform the ‘Zapin’ – Johor Malay folk dance.5
MIRI: Parents must think positive when their children show interest in learning and knowing the cultural dances, folk music and songs of other communities and ethnic groups in the country.
“In a multi-racial and multi-religious society like ours in Sarawak, it helps to enhance and foster goodwill and understanding among the people. I am confident they would be able to bring together and unite the people,” said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau at SK Long Pillah Sports Day in Long Pillah in the interior of Baram recently.
The assemblyman made the comment after witnessing pupils perform a Bidayuh dance and ‘zapin’ ensemble and dance of the Malay community at the opening of the Sports Day. The dance troupe also performed during the recent Baram Regatta in Long Lama.
He pointed out that unity is essential for peace and harmony to thrive in society amid differences in racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
“I understand some parents and members of the public are unhappy to see their children perform the dances of other communities as they are of the Orang Ulu community. Be positive and don’t think performing cultural dances of other communities will only glorify other people’s culture and make you look down on your own culture,” he advised.
He added that knowing and getting a better understanding of other people’s culture and heritage will help speed up and enhance integration among the people in a plural society like Malaysia.
“Therefore it is important to foster unity, goodwill and understanding while they are still young as they will determine the development and progress of the country.”
The assemblyman further said learning of various cultures is part of co-curricular activities which are important to enhance the academic performance or achievements of students.
Thus, parents should encourage their children to be involved in co-curricular activities.