In celebration of original Malaysian traditions, this Lunar New Year, The Original Cream Crackers (Jacob’s), a biscuit brand under Mondelēz International (Malaysia) is shining the spotlight on the High Pole Lion Dance, a Muar-born tradition. In a bid to get this original Malaysian tradition recognised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, Jacob’s is rallying Malaysians to sign a petition (http://bit.ly/36zyDDI).
Pioneered by the Kun Seng Keng (KSK) Lion and Dragon Dance Association, the High Pole Lion Dance was founded in Muar, Johor more than 20 years ago. Since then, this unique performance which symbolizes good luck and fortune has spread across the globe. To date, troupes from Malaysia have won over 100 World Lion Dance Championships while setting international benchmarks.
“In 2017, KSK initiated a bid to get it listed as a UNESCO heritage. Despite the effort and support they received, this variation of the Lion Dance has yet to attain the recognition it deserves. Jacob’s is moved by the story and we have decided to join forces with KSK to revive the attempt to enlist High Pole Lion Dance as a UNESCO heritage. Having this local invention recognised by UNESCO ensures that we can preserve this unique tradition and pass it on to future generations. With that, we are now inviting each and every Malaysian to join us in making our High Pole Lion Dance known to the world,” said Eugenia Goh, Brand Manager, Biscuits (Fuel), at Mondelēz International (Malaysia).
In addition to providing consumers with the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way, Mondelēz International through its biscuit brands has been showing its support for various initiatives. Last August, Jacob’s embarked on ‘The Originals’ campaign which saw the kick-off for its Original Malaysians initiative that highlighted inspiring Malaysian personalities who are legends in their own fields. Today, its celebration of Original Malaysian Traditions is significant in getting the High Pole Lion Dance internationally recognised.
To date, three original Malaysian traditions namely Mak Yong theatre, Silat and Dondang Sayang have been recognised by UNESCO as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’. The recognition received are deemed meaningful as it safeguards Malaysia’s heritage while promoting its national identity.
Tang Puay Sen, KSK Troupe Leader & Coach said “The Muar-born High Pole Lion Dance was founded in 1988. We started off as a small lion dance troupe and in 1992, we awed audiences around the globe when we incorporated high poles into the dance, poles that increased in height over time. It is also humbling to know that the standards for international competitions these days were pioneered by our Malaysian troupes. To make our UNCESCO dream a reality, we need Malaysians to join hands in hopes of obtaining as many signatures as possible for this petition. Having the support of the mass will certainly strengthen and support our application to UNESCO. It is time this awe-inspiring Malaysian tradition gets the international recognition it deserves.”
With the precise incorporation of music, choreography, and ancient wisdom among others, this exceptionally elegant and highly skilled craft often comprises of a multi-cultural dance troupe, a true reflection of what makes us proud to be Malaysians.
Among the first few Malaysians who have signed this petition are employees of Mondelēz International (Malaysia) and its partners.
In conjunction with this initiative, Jacob’s has produced two limited edition festive tins featuring the ‘High Pole Lion Dance’ and, the ’24-Festive Drums’. Each tin retails at RM14.40.