Back to listJun 7, 2008

Soka Gakkai Malaysia Organizes Charity Cultural Festival in Sabah State

Welcome dance in Chinese, Indian and Malay traditional costumes

On June 6 and 7, 2008, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) held a charity cultural festival at Chancellor Hall on the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) campus in Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah State, east Malaysia. Some 800 SGM youth performed for an audience of about 8,000, who gathered from throughout Malaysia and five other Asian countries. Guests included Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah Tuan Bolkiah Haji Ismail and Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim.

Sabah State is home to over 30 ethnic groups, diverse cultures and a rich natural environment and reflected the festival's title, "Encouraging Diversity in Culture--Fostering Peace and Prosperity Together." The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, the Ministry of Culture and Arts and the UMS supported the event which aimed to foster youth in the state, broaden understanding of its rich cultures and raise funds for the needy.

080607malay_murut_dance.jpg Murut Dance
080607malay_bajau_dance.jpg Bajau Dance

For almost a year, participants prepared and rehearsed for the show, assisted by a support staff of some 700. The spectacle displayed Sabah's diverse ethnicity with dances such as the Murut, Kadazandusun and Bajau, as well as Chinese, Indian and Malay traditional dances. A young men's gymnastics and an adult chorus also performed. Boys and girls depicted the varied and natural fauna and flora of Sabah, also called the "Land below the Wind." The four-part performance showcased Sabah's history, its breathtaking natural beauty and its remarkable diversity of culture, culminating in a world of peace and harmony.

A total of RM 220,000 (approximately US$ 67,817) was raised and donated to twenty schools and institutions.

[Adapted from an article in the June 15, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Japan and a report from Soka Gakkai Malaysia; photos courtesy of Soka Gakkai Malaysia]