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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING: More than 800 folk dancers from all over the region and country got together to participate in the Kuching Festival Mass Folk Dance 2019 this evening.
The dancers were from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, and domestically from Penang and Sabah as well as from all over the state.
Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who officiated at the event, said the Mass Folk Dance showcased the unity and harmony of Kuching City and its people as participants, especially those from Sarawak were of various racial backgrounds, aptly for the event in conjunction with the Kuching City Day as it reflected what Sarawak truly is.
“The Folk Dance mirrors pretty much what Sarawak is because dancers came from different racial backgrounds all got together to celebrate out Kuching City Day – the City of Unity,” he said in his speech.
Apart from that, Dr Sim also emphasised on the health benefits of folk dancing as with healthy Kuchingites meant healthy Kuching City.
“If the people are healthy, the city will be healthy too. We don’t want to compete on who has the most hospitals in the country, because we want to be the most healthy people and city,” he quipped.
On a related note, Dr Sim also encouraged participants, especially those from outside Kuching, to also take part in other programmes and activities throughout the Kuching Festival 2019.
He said different people may have different ways to celebrate the City Day, so organisers of Kuching Festival 2019 organised many events where visitors and even Kuchingites can participate in.
“This is very much encouraged because we don’t want Kuchingites to just ‘tengok saja’ (see only). We want them to celebrate together in their own ways.
“People into folk dancing participate in folk dance. Those who want to makan can go makan. Those that do Zumba can do Zumba. Those who want to play futsal can play futsal. So these are basically their own ways of celebrating Kuching City Day,” said Dr Sim.
Meanwhile, organising chairwoman of the Kuching Festival Mass Folk Dance 2019 Kho Teck Wan pointed out that apart from bringing people from various backgrounds and culture together through folk dancing, another main goal of the event was getting healthy through physical exercise.
“We are so blessed that we are in a society where all our people, through the folk dancing, showed that we have blended our culture in our dance moves which symbolises our unity and harmony,” she said.
Kho also encouraged organisations to recruit more younger dancers of other racial backgrounds so that the event would continue to be held in years to come.— DayakDaily