This would definitely have to be the strangest ensemble of a Dikir Barat group ever seen.For the first time ever, Limkokwing University international students joined an ensemble of local students to perform a creative rendition of Dikir Barat at the International Night 2006. Much to everyone’s surprise, the international students attempt at the Dikir Barat was simply accurately beautiful.
The inaugural event, organized by the Higher Education Ministry, hopes to encourage more participation by international students in such events and to attract potential students from the global arena to study here in Malaysia.
According the Sophia, a Multimedia Design student from Denmark, “It was so fun, great and at the same time nervous being on stage. I am now aware of how beautiful and different the Malaysian culture is and I have learnt how to do the Dikir Barat quite efficiently. I also got the chance to meet other international student from different universities.”
The troupe, ‘Limkokwing DK Creative’ comprising 63 students from countries such as Korea, Indonesia, Botswana, Yemen, Denmark, Iran, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and of course, Malaysia. It was lead by Yassin Ahmad and Norzazrina Zainuddin, students from the communications faculty.
The Limkokwing DK Creative started their rehearsals three days before the event. “At first I thought the rehearsals were going to be tough with me being from Indonesia and not being familiar with the art form. However, I was at ease knowing that the other international students were also learning everything from scratch and I am confident to say that we had so much fun during the rehearsals”, adds Wilson, a Graphic Design student from Indonesia.
The night saw students from several higher institutions participating in the colourful and vibrant show. Limkokwing DK Creative performed the folk song entitle “Welcome to Malaysia” which was written and composed by student, Yassin Ahmad as the closing act of the event. Students were also elated being presented the opportunity to meet the higher education minister in person towards the end of the show.
According to another student, Tshepiso, a Graphic Design student from Botswana, “I found the Dikir Barat very interesting and loud. It is similar to the traditional tribal dance we have back home – ‘Borankana’. The noise, clapping and shouting was not alien to me however, I had not tried the ‘Borankana’ before and to me, the Dikir Barat was close to that experience. I also found it very interesting meeting other students and chatting as I realized that even though these students were from different continents, we had quite a lot in common. These are certainly friendships to cherish.”
The celebration was launched by the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and attended by various foreign ambassadors.
The Limkokwing DK Creative has performed in various functions. Recent ones include, Kuala Lumpur August Festival 2006, Launching of Merdeka Month held by the Ministry of Education at UPM 2006 and visit by Datuk Mustapa Mohamed to Limkokwing University in July 2006.
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