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Curtin Sarawak students promote 1Malaysia spirit through cultural show

Miri – 28 September 2010 – Students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently held a cultural show to promote the 1Malaysia concept promulgated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as well as celebrate the diversity of races and cultures in Malaysia.


The cultural show, themed ‘1Malaysia Generates Transformation’ and organised by Malaysian Studies unit lecturer Valerie Valina and some 268 School of Foundation & Continuing Studies students, was held at the university’s Harry Perkins Lecture Theatre. It was well attended by students of the school and the university community as a whole.  


The audience was visibly intrigued by the students, who were all dressed in the traditional costumes of Malaysia’s various ethnic communities, showcasing Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage, rituals and art forms.


They included the country’s varied ethnic and religious festivals, demonstrations of festive ‘open houses’, a fashion show featuring traditional costumes, and a medley of ethnic dances.


“Though Curtin University’s legacy is Australian and we are a branch campus of Curtin, we are mindful of our location and encourage all our students, regardless of nationality, to appreciate the true value and beauty of multicultural Malaysia,” said Valerie.


According to Valerie, such cultural events are also in line with Curtin’s vision of being an international leader shaping the future through its graduates and positioned among the top 20 universities in Asia by 2020, having transcended its Australian heritage to become an internationally recognised brand and truly international university.


Furthermore, she said, Curtin’s ‘triple-i’ curriculum model calls for intercultural and indigenous awareness to be embedded along with industry links and interdisciplinary study into each course curriculum so that students will receive a diverse, challenging and rewarding education grounded in the real world.


According to lecturer Lenin Gopal who is from India, “I was really impressed by the students’ performances and the preparation that went into them. They did a fantastic job of showcasing the different ethnicities of Malaysia. It was also great to see an ethnic Chinese student dressed an Orang Ulu warrior costume and an Orang Ulu girl in a sari. To me, that shows just how multicultural Malaysia really is.”


Dean of the School for Foundation & Continuing Studies and The Learning Centre, Beena Giridharan, also commended the students on the quality of the performances and their embodiment of the 1Malaysia concept.


“Such cultural events help our students understand national policies such as the 1Malaysia concept and their impact on national development better. Furthermore, they instil a sense of patriotism in the students, as well as pride in their respective cultural heritages. It is indeed very inspiring to see our students leading national causes and contributing to nation-building through events such as this,” she commented.


Students of various races dressed in traditional costumes pose for a group photo following the cultural show.