BALIK PULAU, July 8, 2012 - "Know the heritage is to know ourselves, know our roots and the historical origins of our nation."
The clarion call was made by Prof. Dato' Omar Osman, Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), who hoped that through cultural performances organised by USM, people can learn about their own art and culture that emerged and evolved from a fine artistic heritage.
He said manners and traditional culture inherited from our ancestors since the early times are rich in unique, graceful movements and dances, fineness of manners and discretion.
Thus through the hosting of the programme, Mantra Buana 4 by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), we can see how our arts and culture are special for them to be cherished and kept as a heritage.
"It was felt that it was most appropriate for USM under the APEX university status that upholds the motto ‘Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ to also play a role in contributing expertise and consultancy services for the Mantra Buana 4 programme, upholding the traditional arts and culture,” he said at the official closing of the Mantra Buana 4 at Jalan Kampung Baru, Balik Pulau, Penang.
He added that, to restore the forms and types of traditional performances such as leather puppet, Cak Lempong, Joghee Dance, Jora Jodi, and Boria is a very noble effort to conserve, protect and preserve our heritage.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the staff of Mantra Buana 4 Programme for their effort and commitment towards the success of this programme. It is hoped that programmes such as this can help the university increase the university-and-community relations.”
Moreover, Omar also hoped that this programme will become an annual programme and become an important event in the calendar of Penang tourism activities on par with other national and international festivals.
Mantra Buana 4, which features its own unique combination of traditional culture of three countries namely Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, was presented for the benefit of the general public in Penang this year.
More than 30 traditional performances from the three countries were held from 3 – 7 July 2012, featuring a variety of social activities such as cooking demonstrations, games and Local Community Entrepreneurship Programme.
Also present were Y.B. Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Y.B. Hj. Haji Muhammad Farid Saad, State Assemblyman and Chairman of the Pulau Betong Mantra Buana 4 Programme, Datuk Nik Ali Muhd Yunus, Director, Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU), Prime Minister Department, Penang, and Prof. Adnan Hussein, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development), USM.