Global students perform local cultural show

MONDAY, 26 JULY 2010 14:27

By Shahfizal Musa

BANGI, 23 July 2010- Forty three International students taking part in the 2nd UKM Global mobility partnership programme performed various Malaysian cultural dances and songs to mark the end of their stint in the country.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was on hand to officiate the closure of the current programme at UKM on Friday.

The programme brings together students from Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America ,Japan and Mexico who joined 35 local students to experience Malaysian life and the many facets of the country.

It consists of two separate modules focus on Sustainable Tropical Heritage and the Indigenous Community of Malaysia.

It attracted more participants this time against the 29 last year. The month long programme began on June 28 packed with lectures and eye opening field trips. It blends campus life and the great outdoors of Malaysian diverse ecosystem. They were also given the opportunity to experience how Malaysian indigenous communities live.

The participants went on field trips to Tasik Chini, Langkawi, Mount Kinabalu, Carey Island, The National Park and several Islands in Sabah. All the participants and some of the organizers conquered Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, the highest peak in South East Asia.

The programmes aims at promoting international collaborations between Universities and giving exposure to future leaders to be aware of sustainable development, preservation of the environment and respecting the indigenous people and learning from them.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said the programme was not just about showcasing and sharing the rich and unique Malaysian heritage of bio and cultural diversity with the rest of the world but to give opportunities to the young people from different backgrounds to interact and understand one another and to realise that they share a common destiny in inheriting the earth”

She hoped that the programme will nurture a more environmentally aware future generation who are able to appreciate cultural diversity.

“It is hoped that this programme will cultivate responsible leaders of tomorrow that will preserve the earth’s sustainability, to make it a better place for all humankind to live harmoniously with one another as well as with nature.”

The programme gave the participants first hand experience of Malaysia’s diverse eco system, the indigenous tribes and wetlands. Many of the participants say that the programme exceeded their expectations.

One of the students, Atsumi Shibata from Toyo University Japan heard about the mobility programme from her supervisor and decided to enroll. She took part time jobs in order to finance her trip. She was the only student who self financed her way to the programme.

“I work very hard to save the money to join this programme. In Japan we are homogeneous with only one people which is Japanese. Thus we are not exposed to other cultures and this programme gave me the exposure that I needed and it not only gave me knowledge about the ecosystem and so on, but most importantly I get to meet the people from various cultures and background,” said Atsumi.