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Photos: Jami

Colours of 1Malaysia 2011

Raffat Binte Rashid

Colours of 1Malaysia locally known as Chritrawarna – is an annual event in the Malayan calendar held every third Saturday of May. It is a lavish celebration of the country’s diverse ethnic and cultural heritage, through dance, costumes, special performances and many other aspects including cuisine and music. This year the gala tourism event was celebrated on May 21, at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, showcasing the best of Malaysia – manufactured products to time-long traditions to the richness of their culture, spiced with the splendours of a dazzling display of fireworks.

Officially launched by His Majesty the King of Malaysia, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong, Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, the launch was also attended by the country's Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Minister of Tourism, YB Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen.

The Colours of 1Malaysia festival was a dazzling display of fireworks and a two hour long lively street parade presenting an array of cultural performances. The parade involved some 5,000 performers representing Malaysia's diverse tourism products and the arts and cultures of all ethnic communities, converging in song and dance numbers enriched by a colourful showcase of traditional attires. This annual ritual is staged primarily to promote tourism bilaterally with other countries as well. The focus of this year's festivity was 1Malaysia Green 1Malaysia Clean campaign with an emphasis on parks and gardens, sports tourism, contemporary arts, eco tourism, fabulous cuisine, fruits and shopping.

Malaysia is regarded as the land of diversity and harmony. Efforts are being made to create a unique culture through national policies focusing on a society that is famed for its tolerance. This diverse choice of events and products at the festival were designed to appeal to everyone, whether one preferred the rugged fun of the outdoors or simply a shopping holiday with the family. The objective was to showcase Malaysia as an attractive, year-round holiday destination, one that caters to the demands of every tourist.

The spectacular show celebrating Malaysia's diverse culture.

Colours of 1Malaysia was initiated by Tourism Malaysia with a goal to incorporate various tourism-related bodies, such as Malaysian Airlines, hotels, as well as state governments to showcase the nation's best tourist destinations and products to the foreign media and trade partners. The primary goal was to increase awareness regarding Malaysia's rich scope for tourism and to provide an opportunity to sample the country's courteous hospitality. This effort is widely believed to have boosted the growth of the economy as well as generated higher income for the tourism industry.

In this regard, Tourism Malaysia had invited foreign members of the media and travel-trade to join in the "Colours of 1Malaysia" festivities since its initiation. This year a total of 179 participants from 21 countries took part in the Mega Familiarisation Programme. The participants comprised mostly of travel agents, TV crews, and journalists, came from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Mauritius, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, and Vietnam.

The participants attended a business seminar by Tourism Malaysia about Malaysia's tourism products and visited destinations such as Genting Highlands, Langkwai, Sabah, Sarawak, Putrajaya, Penang, Melaka, and several other destinations to get a first-hand experience of Malaysia's diverse tourist attractions.


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