Kota Baharu - The Information Ministry will use "dikir barat" (a traditional Malay music) as a medium to instil patriotism for the nation among the people.
Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin Malaysia`s excellence and glory over 50 years of nationhood could be portrayed with more fervour to the people and the world through the traditional musical performances.
"Besides being entertained, we can educate the people, especially the younger set, on our nation`s rich and colourful history.
"Dikir barat performers can convey these messages to the audience to instil love and affection for our blessed country," he said in his speech at the closing of the national-level Merdeka Dikir Barat Festival here last night.
The text of his speech was read out by ministry secretary-general Datuk Siti Balkish Mohd Shariff.
Zainuddin said dikir barat was no longer considered the culture of the people in the east coast states but a Malaysian traditional culture and arts.
Dikir barat`s uniqueness and richness could be highlighted to evoke patriotism among the audience, particularly the younger generation, he added.
At the festival, Padang Lembik Smart Community emerged champion, winning a RM5,000 cash prize and a certificate, while Nara Merkang Smart Community in Pasir Puteh adjudged runner-up received RM3,000 and a certificate.
Six troupes from Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Perlis took part in the festival.
Source: www.bernama.com (23 Juli 2007)