Capture Sarawak’s ethnic groups through your lens for posterity, Abdul Karim tells photographers

Abdul Karim receiving a framed photo of the people of the Ukit ethnic group from Ong (third left).

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SIBU, Dec 27: Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah wants the culture and traditions of Sarawak’s 34 ethnic groups be recorded digitally in videos and pictures for posterity.

“All the culture and traditions of Sarawak’s ethnic groups must be recorded in pictures or videos so that it can be a source of reference for the sake of the younger generation,” he said at the opening of the Ukit Ethnic Culture Photography Exhibition today.

Abdul Karim noted that the full beauty of Sarawak has yet to be discovered and introduced to people within and outside of Sarawak.

“Our Bumi Kenyalang exhibits notable diversity in ethnicity, culture and language with her 34 ethnic groups, of which 31 are pribumi or indigenous ethnic groups of Sarawak,” he said, adding that higher institutions of learning in the State need to assist in conducting study on the background of the various ethnic groups here.

The minister stressed that preserving and transmitting this knowledge is especially relevant to ethnic groups, socially and economically.

“In order for our heritage to stay alive, we need to play our part in keeping them relevant. These history, traditions and culture that define us should be practiced and learned within communities and between generations regularly to ensure the constant transmission of knowledge, skills and meaning,” he emphasised.

Abdul Karim congratulated Sibu Photographer Association (SPA) under its president, Edwin Ong for organising the exhibition as it serves to introduce the culture and traditions of the Ukit people to Sarawakians and beyond.

A picture of Ukit women, uniquely dressed in their traditional blue garb.

“I, myself are also not familiar with the Ukit ethnic group. The pictures show the Ukit dressed in blue, which is unique as native groups are normally associated with the colours of red, black and yellow,” he said.

Abdul Karim assured that his ministry will continue to support and promote the beauty of Sarawak through activities that contribute to capacity building in Sarawak’s heritage, arts and culture sectors.

The exhibition at University of Technology Sarawak with the slogan ‘Shoot Before They’re Gone’ will run from Dec 27 to Jan 2, 2023. — DayakDaily