A TRIBAL COLLABORATION: Indigenous Tribes Across Asia Come Together To Educate and Entertain

The Selangor International Indigenous Art Festival 2016 (SIIAF) is back for the second time at Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam, Selangor with a presentation of tribal dances, culture and a mission to accomplish.

Organised by Tourism Selangor and Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), with collaboration from Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), this year’s theme ‘Back to the roots, #Landrightsnow!’ is in conjunction with the worldwide Land Rights Now campaign.

The event is aimed at bringing awareness to the public on the culture and heritage of the Indigenous people, as well as giving the indigenous tribes across Malaysia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam, a platform to promote their rich culture and heritage tourism in culturally-rich Selangor.

“By promoting the culture and creating awareness of the indigenous people, it not only helps to attract tourists to the state, but also helps the indigenous people economically. If done responsibly, these efforts will greatly benefit them,” said YB Puan Elizabeth Wong, Chairperson of Standing Committee, Tourism, Consumer Affairs & Environment of Selangor.

Last year’s event, held in conjunction with Visit Selangor Year 2015, saw 2000 local and international visitors join in the festival, participating in tribal exhibits, art and handicrafts. With the aim of drawing 5000 visitors to the two day event this year, some of the highlights for this year include -appearances and cultural performances by 21 domestic indigenous tribes, exhibitions and food tasting of traditional food of Peninsular and East Malaysia and the unveiling of the newest traditional home of the MahMeri tribe. There will also be food trucks serving food and drinks for visitors and a photo contest to win prizes.

“In many countries, indigenous tribes continue to remain a mystery, unknown to the larger population. In our quest to become developed and progressive nations we should not forget these communities,” Puan Noorul Ashikin Mohd. Din, General Manager, Tourism Selangor.

“We hope this year we can bring more people to join this event, and to focus more on solidarity among participants,’’ said JOAS President, Yusri Ahon.

Last year’s Visit Selangor Year campaign saw 7 million visitors exploring various features of the state.  Selangor’s popularity among travellers is reflected in the increase of visitors, from 3 to 5% in the past few years. With a combination of rich history and culture, hustling cities and scenic villages, modern infrastructure and gastronomic delights – Selangor is a destination of choice for local and international visitors.

Supported by the State Government, this year’s promotional campaign ‘Discover Selangor’ aims to get even more tourists to experience the fun and enriching experiences in Selangor.

Armed with the tagline ‘Heart of Malaysia’, the campaign offers new and returning visitors to have a complete experience of Selangor’s attractions – in lifestyle, MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference & Exhibition) and sport.

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