Thursday, July 18

Sarawak Street Arts Carnival comes to life at Kuching Waterfront

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Abang Johari (left) shoots with a balloon-made gun to symbolically launch the Sarawak Street Arts Carnival at the Kuching Waterfront. — Photos by Kong Jun Liong

KUCHING: Sarawak Street Arts Carnival opened yesterday at the Square Tower in Kuching Waterfront where various local, regional and international artistes and acts gathered to promote understanding and appreciation of cultures.

The two-day carnival was one of the four main events organised in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 that aimed to attract more tourists to the state and give a boost to the tourism industry.

Organised by state Ministry of Tourism and Culture in collaboration with state Culture and Arts Department, the carnival features live music, arts and crafts, food, dance, fashion show, clowns and many interesting programmes and activities.

With hundreds of musicians, crafters, dancers and artistes, the Kuching Waterfront comes alive this weekend.

Speaking at the launching, Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Haji Openg highlighted that art is a universal culture that can transcend boundaries of all kinds.

“Together with our invited guests from other countries, this carnival can showcase our unique culture in the state of Sarawak especially where people of all races and beliefs can live in peace and harmony,” he said.

“It gives us the opportunity to interact with one another especially our foreign guests through arts like music, crafts and dances. Through interaction, they are able to understand the values and morals behind our unique culture,” he added.

With such uniqueness, Abang Johari emphasised the spirit of 1Malaysia is in Sarawak because Sarawakians place great emphasis in upholding and protecting this unity.

“There are no religious or racial problems in Sarawak. Therefore, defend whatever that is good and distance ourselves from bad cultures,” he said.

“Therefore, Sarawak plays a significant role to show to others the goodness in our culture, promote understanding and appreciation for our culture,” he added.

In the pursuit for modernisation, Abang Johari reminded the people not to forget their roots that were the main fabric to build this nation.

He also reiterated the importance of unity as a strength that will enable the state and nation to progress in one direction.

“Unity is the wealth of this country and I am confident that this Street Art Carnival can send a message to the society that there is no other alternative for us but to understand each other and move forward together,” he said.

He hopes that invited artistes and foreign tourists can indulge and truly experience Sarawak’s unique cultures through this Sarawak Street Arts Carnival.

Among those present were permanent secretary to Tourism Ministry Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Rashid Khan, chief political secretary to the chief minister Abdullah Saidol and state Culture and Arts Department director Sallahuddin Salleh.