Cultural Heritage

Malaysia is a cultural “melting pot” formed by Malay, Chinese, Indian and other Indigenous people. We are a unique country that is known for the richness of cultural heritage. People are respecting each other’s culture and religion. Malays are the major population in Malaysia. Nevertheless, Article 8 of the Malaysia Constitution promotes equality among all citizens in Malaysia.

I am a typical Chinese in Malaysia. However, the mixture of different cultures had produced a unique Chinese cultural heritage in Malaysia. Playing GuZheng-a Chinese musical instrument is one of my favourite pastime interests. Playing GuZheng and listening to the soothing melodies calm my mind. I still remember vividly in my secondary school, every class is compulsory to participate in the Patriotic Competition in conjunction with the National Day. Our class came out a creative idea by mixing different cultural elements. We formed a choir team to sing Patriotic song; Malay friends are dancing while Indian friends are singing. As a Chinese, I played my GuZheng with Malay Patriotic Song. Our class won the champion in the competition! After that competition, many Malay students are interested to learn GuZheng.

In addition, practice Calligraphy is part of my interest too! It is not only a practical technique for writing Chinese characters, but also a unique Oriental art of expression. Calligraphy is rich in its content consisting the evolution of writing styles, development and rules of technique, history of calligraphy, calligraphers and their inheritance in art. Learning calligraphy is an important part of my cultural heritage. This culture is originated from China. It has subsequently spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia and Singapore. It is a gem in the world’s art treasury too. I enjoy myself in the Calligraphy class together with Malays and Indians. The cultural sharing experience is worth remembering.

In this era of globalization, we need to know that the world beyond borders are coming so fast that we cannot afford to narrow our mind to what is going on just within the community. We need to explore every culture and take initiatives to celebrate diversity. I learn how to adapt and accept culture shock during my student exchange programme. That is the essence of peace. All of us can be ambassadors for world peace in our daily lives.

Last but not least, I would like to share with you my favourite quote from Daisaku Ikeda, a peace activist and President of Soka Gakkai International- A great inner revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of an entire society and further, will cause a change in the destiny of humankind. I hope the JUST Inter-civilizational Youth Engagement Programme will effectively promoting cultures and education among youths in the society.

The art of Calligraphy

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