A Celebration of Kelantan’s Artistic Legacy
Taking place from October 19 to 30, 2023, the program is a series of public diplomacy engagements designed to promote the arts and heritage of Kelantan. Audiences will have the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Kelantanese arts and heritage forms, including Wayang Kulit Kelantan (Kelantan shadow puppetry), Main Teri (spiritual healing), Tari Inai (dance), Silat Jawi (Martial Art) and Dikir Barat (musical performance). The Mak Yong Theatre, a UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity awardee, will also be showcased during this thematic cultural diplomacy initiative.This high-impact program is the result of a collaborative effort between the relevant Ministries and Agencies from Malaysia and the United States, namely The Embassy of Malaysia in Washington D.C., the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC), the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW), the non-profit diplomatic organization ASEAN Spouses’ Circle, Washington D.C. (ASC), Washington D.C.’S networking organization, Things To Do D.C. and the Malaysian diaspora in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) area.
Meet the Cultural Maestros: Geng Wak Long
Representing the Kelantanese arts and heritage in Washington D.C. is Geng Wak Long, led by Mr. Kamrulbahri bin Hussin. Geng Wak Long is a local cultural arts group renowned for its advocacy in promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of Kelantan. This dedicated family arts company, which includes academic experts and Adiguru (Virtuoso Maestro) from institutions like the College of Creative Arts UITM and the National Academy of Arts and Heritage (ASWARA), has played a vital role in increasing understanding and appreciation of Kelantanese arts and culture among local and international communities.
The “Sounds and Soul of the East Coast” marks the inaugural event in a series of thematic cultural diplomacy programs to be hosted during the tenure of H.E. Dato’ Seri Ambassador Nazri Aziz as the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States. These programs aim to promote Malaysia’s arts and culture as integral to its national identity, highlight Malaysia as a tourism destination, and create momentum leading up to Visit Malaysia Year 2026. Furthermore, these initiatives play a vital role in fostering Malaysian cultural literacy among the diaspora in the US and the global community.
H.E. Dato’ Seri Ambassador Nazri Aziz as the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States: “As the Malaysian Ambassador for the United States, it is my goal to persuade the Americans to learn more about my country’s culture. We have a saying that to know Malaysia is to love Malaysia. It’s a short introduction to our culture. If Americans come to these events, I am confident they can be enticed to travel to Malaysia to see more.”
Kamrulbahri bin Hussin: “We are introducing the healing performance – Main Teri – which is a healing tradition from Kelantan. It is focused on dance, chanting, music, trance, and ritual movements to cure emotional or spiritual illnesses.”
Malaysia Day and Armed Forces Day Reception
Date & Location: October 30, 2023, U.S. State Department
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