Embrace technology to preserve ethnic music, instruments

Azlan Othman

Ethnic music should be viewed as cultural treasures, and technology advancement can be used to preserve and promote it for the future generation, said Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

He made this remark at the launch of the 3rd Cultural Festival on Musical Instruments of Seven Ethnic Groups in Brunei Darussalam at OneCity Shopping Centre yesterday.

The minister emphasised the importance of the preservation efforts for ethnic music among the community, adding that the element of originality must be preserved and perpetuated.

He added, musical instruments are also of great importance as a tangible expression of aesthetic and symbolic culture as well as the intangible aspects of the song and hereditary music.

Music and musical instruments play an important role in preserving the nation’s identity, he said.

It also promotes social fabric to ensure the well-being of the community as a whole.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin tours a booth at the event
ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin officiates the festival; and the minister delivers his speech. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI

ABOVE & BELOW: Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah delivers her speech; and a cultural performance during the ceremony

The preservation of ethnic music as an aesthetic and symbolic expression must be balanced by the variety of cultural elements which plays a role in shaping the image and identity of the nation.

All these elements reflect the harmony and unity of the nation in addition to prioritising the teachings of Islam as the official religion and Malay as the official language of the country, the minister said.

Meanwhile Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah said the festival coincides with one of the resolutions reached at the previous Cultural Festival – to organise ethnic cultural heritage programmes regularly.

It was also an effort to identify more resources to the list of Infinite Cultural Heritage inventories that need to be preserved and documented in the current global development and progress.

Organising the Cultural Festival is a major initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as the ‘Custodian of Culture’, an agency that is committed to preserving and expanding the country’s cultural heritage, she added.

The festival brings together seven ethnic Malay groups to share their culture through talk sessions, demonstrations of musical, cultural performances, exhibitions and sales of products.

It is also an opportunity to promote cultural differences among the younger generation.

The event also saw the presentation of a paper entitled ‘Brunei History and Culture from Ethnological Studies’ by Acting Director Arts and Culture Haji Mohd Abdoh bin Haji Awang Damit.

It is hoped the festival will raise awareness and understanding on cultural heritage, the importance of preserving heritage and the culture of Malay ethnic groups and at the same time strengthen networking and cooperation among the seven Malay ethic groups in the country with government agencies.

The festival, jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Brunei History Centre, and Language and Literature Bureau and Museums Department at the Atrium, One City Shopping Centre, will end today.

Members of the Legislative Council, permanent secretary, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, high commissioners and ambassadors and representatives of foreign missions in Brunei Darussalam, and senior government officials were also present.