Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rosmah praises Malaysia’s multiculturalism in Washington

Malaysian multi-ethnicity and cultural diversity have become an integral part of the society, said the prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

“This is our identity, our image, as well as, our strength which, in turn, provides a strong foundation for our country’s political, social and economic success,” she said at the Faces of 1 Malaysia Festival, organised by the Information Communication and Culture Ministry at the National Geographic Society Building here yesterday.

The two-day festival of Malaysia’s favourite food, multi-racial music and cultural performances, complemented by a handicraft demonstration and tourism promotion, ended Sunday.

Ambassador Esther Coppersmith represented the United States government at the function, dubbed “Symbol of friendship between two nations”.

Touching on the inaugural showcase of Faces of 1 Malaysia, Rosmah said that besides epitomising the diversities of Malaysia’s rich cultural traditions that made Malaysia such a special country, the festival also manifested Malaysia-United States ties, goodwill and friendship.

“It is also about affirming relationship between our two countries in many areas of mutual interest,” she said.

“As the world becomes smaller and as we become more global, it is my fervent hope that there will be more sharing, not just in food and culture, but in many other areas that we interact reflecting our mutual appreciation of one another.

“And I sincerely hope that this warm rapport and friendship will be further enhanced through Faces of 1 Malaysia,” she said.

She also hoped that through the festival, the visitors would be abled to have a glimpse of Malaysia, and be able to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination.

The highlight of the festival was the installation of two “pokok beringin”, one with the Malaysian flag painted on it and the other with an American flag, by Rosmah and Coppersmith, symbolising the goodwill between both countries.

The function, emceed by Datuk Mahadzir Lokman, started off with a short multimedia presentation on “Malaysia Truly Asia”, followed by the Malay traditional welcoming dance, the “tarian selamat datang” and a 1 Malaysia multiracial musical performance of joget “Johor Sport Club.”

Malaysian pianist Tengku Ahmad Ifran Tengku Ahmad Syahrizal of Permata Seni Muzik performed the “Tanah Pusaka” while teenage singer Ikhwal, 17, captivated the audience with a rendition of “mentera semerah padi” .

The energetic “dikir bertingkah” performed by 10 children, aged 7 to 11, from the Tunas Budaya got the audience participating.

The festival, dubbed “Symbol of Friendship between Two Nations”, is the first segment of the festival. The second segment will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tomorrow at the Oriental Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel here.

Known as the ‘Faces of 1 Malaysia Gala Night’, it will be attended by specially-invited guests, including United States (US) politicians. — Bernama

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