When dance and music dies, a nation dies on all frontiers

As a multicultural nation, we could have evolved into a society that thrives on our diverse dance and music heritage

dance to thuan chye's poem
File photo: Elaine Pedley and Judimar Hernandez dance as Marion D'Cruz reads out Kee Thuan Chye's poem at Aliran's 'People First, Democracy Now!' dinner

Dance and music are integral components of our human experience and expression. 

They bring together people who appreciate art, culture and music. 

They develop the human soul to so that people become happier, and they enrich society holistically and harmoniously. 

Unfortunately, the opportunities to enjoy dance and music seem to have been reduced over the years.  

We seem to have stopped creating the need to find precious moments to patake in dance and music. Perhaps this is because of our penchant and political drivel to push for a narrow interpretation of religion and emphasise the economy to the hilt. 

Today, we are a society of people who think dance and music are irrelevant to success and happiness. 

As a multicultural nation, we could have evolved into a society that thrives on our diverse dance and music heritage. 

But when schools removed drama, music and dance from the curriculum; when universities pay only lip service to the performing arts; when workplaces deem dance and music as insignificant next to profits and productivity; when religious preachers frown on them; then surely dance and music have died.

When the people fail to value the diversity of our dances and our music and when we fail to see their significance to our own socio-cultural identity and development, then the nation as a whole fails on multiple frontiers – politically, economically and socially. 

It is time to revive this lost cultural experience in Malaysia. 

Only when we know how to appreciate and recognise the symbiotic relationship between our creative and emotional experiences and the expression of dance and music can we begin to build a greater nation.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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