Malaysia Eyes UNESCO Recognition For ‘Wayang Kulit’

Malaysia’s Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet).


Kuala Lumpur, 21 Rabiul Awwal 1438/21 December 2016 (MINA) – Malaysia will embark on taking ‘wayang kulit’ (shadow play) to be listed as national and world cultural heritage under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said although Indonesia had done the same in order to get the recognition from UNESCO, Malaysia’s ‘wayang kulit’ has different characteristics altogether.

“If Indonesia has done it, it’s not wrong (if) we make the same efforts because our wayang kulit is like our ‘batik’ which has different patterns than theirs (Indonesia),” Bernama quoted Mohamed Nazri as telling reporters after launching the ‘Wayang Kulit Nusantara: Symbolism Behind The Screen’ at the National Museum here today.

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Also present was the Department of Museums Malaysia director-general Datuk Kamarul Baharin A.Kasim.

Mohamed Nazri said the Malaysian version of “wayang kulit” with Kelantan and Malay-influence, has different patterns of “Purwa” and “Gedek”; storylines; language styles; philosophies; and different performances.

“We have to remember that once upon a time, Indonesia and Malaysia did not exist and this wayang kulit had been playing in both countries which was then called the nusantara (archipelago),” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Nazri said a total of 2.6 million people visited museums under the department as of November 30. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)