Abdul Karim (fourth left) beating the traditional Chinese drum as gimmick in officiating the 3rd Plaza Merdeka Lion Dance Competition. Accompanying him on stage are Ng (fourth right) and others.
KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that Bumiputra involvement in lion dances reflected the intertwining harmony and understanding among the various races in the state.
“We should preserve this kind of culture even though Lion dances are predominantly performed by Chinese,” he said.
“I am very happy to see that the lion dance associations here make efforts to groom Bumiputras as part of their dance troupe and also train them to excel in competitions,” he added.
He said this before officiating at the 3rd Plaza Merdeka Lion Dance competition held at Plaza Merdeka here yesterday.
Abdul Karim further elaborated that the intertwining and the understanding of cultural performances among various races should be encouraged in order to build a better Sarawak and a better Malaysia.
“Hopefully this is what we always try to do in efforts to boost unity and harmony in the state,“ he said to the applause of the audiences.
He said such cultural events would also further boost the tourism industry by attracting people from other places to come and participate or witness the spectacular event.
Abdul Karim reiterated that Sarawak was among the states that practise harmony and considering that Kuching has been declared as City of Unity.
“It is very important that this sort of competition not only focuses solely on the Chinese but a culture for everybody to enjoy,” he said.
Managing director of Plaza Merdeka Dato Steve Ng said that they were honoured to bring the event to the public and had received a tremendous support from the state government and various parties to spread this significant cultural sport to the world, while sparking interests among youths.
“This sport requires trust among each team member and build courage and confidence, qualities that we would like to foster among the younger generation,” he said.
The 3rd Plaza Merdeka Lion Dance competition is being competed by 13 teams from Singapore,Selangor, Sabah and teams from all over Sarawak.
The champion team will bring home cash prize of RM2,000, a trophy and medals, first runner up will take home RM1,500, a trophy and medals, while the second runner wins RM1,000, a trophy and medals.
The fourth place winner will get RM800 cash prize and an elite award of RM500 as well as consolation prizes for all the other participating teams. -TheBorneoPost