Teens find passion in cultural dances of other races
MUAR - It is said that music and dance are universal languages that can foster unity among people from different cultures and make them feel connected.
For Muar natives, 13-year-old M. Dhashrina and 16-year-old Liew Jia Xin, this seems to be the case.
While Dhashrina is Indian and Liew is Chinese, both teens have found their passion in dance forms of other cultures.
Dhashrina said she became interested to learn ‘tarian Inang’ when she was eight years old after she saw a performance shown on television, adding that she was attracted to the graceful movements and beautiful attire of its dancers.
The student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sultan Abu Bakar here is adept at performing the dance, which is hugely popular among the Malay community, after taking lessons from several Malay teachers.
"I performed my first Inang dance at the age of nine. To learn more about the dance methods, I also joined the Muar Arts and Culture Association (PERSENI).
"Since childhood, I have been interested in the performing arts. Besides Inang, I am also keen on choir singing...Chinese orchestra, as well as Zapin (also a Malay traditional dance) and several other dances," she said when met by Bernama during the rehearsal for ‘Konsert Malam Budaya Malaysia’ in Oasis Bay Resort here today.
Dhashrina, who is a member of Kencana Sari's Zapin Group, explained that she will perform both the Inang and Zapin during the concert tomorrow before an audience of 600 people at the Chung Hwa High School auditorium.
The show is being held in conjunction with Malaysia Day (Sept 16).
Meanwhile, Liew, who attends SMK Sri Muar will perform the Karagattam, a traditional Indian folk dance, which she started learning earlier this year.
Liew is also well-versed in Zapin and Joget (fast-paced Malay dance) which she started performing in primary school.
"It is not wrong to learn dances from other races in the country. In addition to fostering unity, it can also reveal the cultural identity of Malaysia's heritage which consists of various races," she said.
Muar Viva Chorus Singing Association advisor Poh Liang Yah said after seeing a lack of joint activities involving young people of various races, they decided to host the concert.
He said such activities would not only strengthen the relationship among the various communities, especially in the Muar district but also foster students' interest in culture and arts passed down from generation to generation.
"A total of 117 students comprising various races from 10 schools in the Muar and Tangkak districts will be involved. There will also be a special presentation from the country’s Sekolah Seni Johor Bharu and Lembaga Sanggar Hang Tuah Deli Serdang from Indonesia,” he added. - BERNAMA