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“A student-created global village”
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“A student-created global village”

Muhammad HafizA festival highlighting the ethnic diversity of Melaka gave students practical experience and a measure of cultural pride, writes Muhammad Hafiz, 18, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

The “Festival Tradisional 2013 / FETAL2013″ (or in English – Traditional Festival 2013) gave me an opportunity to be an organizer, together with the rest of the second semester students, at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of UiTM Melaka.

The event at Dataran Sungai Melaka on the 19th of March, 2013 was organised in collaboration with 11 Government Divisions including the Ministry of Higher Education (1Malaysia For Youth unit), Melaka State Government, the Ministry of Information Communication and Culture, GLCs, NGOs, and 11 higher education institutes based in Melaka.

The aim of the event was to ignite awareness. Melaka is a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. The festival encourages society to preserve and inherit the diversity of art, culture, food, and dance of various races in Malaysia.  Key to the initiative is involvement of the community, 1Malaysia For Youth (1M4U), and the volunteering culture. 

In addition, the event is organised to train the undergraduates in organising events and activities outside of the campus. They collaborate with the Government and its Ministries and Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), private agencies, and other stakeholders. The goal is to instil and foster a patriotic spirit among students from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Melaka itself and other higher education institutes in Melaka – both public and private.

FETAL2013 was considered as a Global Village as well because of the students that promoted eight cultures throughout the event.  Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sabah, Sarawak, Baba Nyonya, Javanese, and Portuguese cultures were all represented. Dance, arts, and food were the contexts of the students’ exhibition in promoting those cultures!

We were proud to have tourists and surprisingly the teachers and Year Five students from Nexus International School, Putrajaya, come to the event and visit those exhibition booths set up by the students.

Invited performing artists Caprice, Sheikh Eamir, Mysara Nasir and 90 Degrees performed at the event as well. It is hoped that this industry-linked program can improve the spirit of nationhood felt towards the country among its citizens. The presence of lots of visitors among those attending the event to support the students’ efforts to promote cultures and arts will hopefully be a source of motivation for the students to further expand their scope or targeted promotion of products and cultures.

More information about the event can be found on the event’s official Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Festival-Tradisional-2013/381844625257167 and also the event’s official Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/fetal2013/. More pictures are at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200959557731569.1073741827.1244988406&type=1&l=f068975dce

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About me:

“I am an ordinary Malaysian home-grown youth, shaped by experiences sparked by my various interests while continuing as a player in the game of life. I’m currently studying for a Diploma in Communication and Media at MARAUniversity of Technology in Melaka, Malaysia.”

“I love almost everything in life that the world has to offer. I am currently a volunteer with Petrosains, a subsidiary of Petronas; one of Malaysia’s Campus Ambassadors attached to Bloomberg; the Social Media Strategist for the AllArtCore photography team based in Malaysia; and a Student Representative for both the Malaysia-based EYE Project and the U.S.-based Mozilla Foundation.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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