Realising the importance to keep this tradition alive, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun has proposed that the relevant authorities work closely with the State Education Department to ensure that the message gets across, especially to the young children.
“We will look for a way to work with the State Education Department on how we can incorporate the folklore and traditional music and dance into the system, It will not be absorbed as part of the curriculum but more like a friendly competition to instil the love and interest amongst the schoolchildren so as to keep our tradition alive,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after launching the 8th Sabah International Folklore Festival 2013 (SIFF) on Tuesday evening, he described Sabahans as natural when it comes to music.
“We are exposed to traditional music from young, and our interest builds up from there. But of course, we have to find ways to ensure that the interest can be expanded. Take the SIFF this year, for the first time, the Sabah Cultural Board has decided to focus on folklore and traditional music, this is a trial basis and if we see the potential, we will adsorb this event as part of the festival’s highlights, apart from the dancing, which has obviously lured a lot of enthusiasts since it was introduced,” said Masidi.
He said maybe in the near future, apart from luring more participation, they would also come up with other programmes that would attract more people to come in.
“Because the reason of having such event is to have people watching. It will be a failure if we do not have an audience. If an event is only held just for us to enjoy, then we would not have achieved our target, which is to educate, share and promote our tradition, culture and folklores for all to know,” he said.
He said SIFF is an avenue for both participants and the audience to learn the global folklores.
Touching on the event, Masidi said he was impressed with the performances from the participating countries, namely, South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
“Take the performance from Sarawak, they were able to incorporate sape (traditional guitar-like instrument) into the music and performed it in the pop and modern genre … I was impressed with them,” he said.
Masidi hoped that local music enthusiasts would also do the same with the available traditional instruments in Sabah.