Bid to get Unesco recognition for High Pole Lion Dance

23 Jan 2020 / 11:30 H.

PETALING JAYA: There is an online petition to get the High Pole Lion Dance, a Muar-born tradition, recognised by Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

The Kun Seng Keng (KSK) Lion and Dragon Dance Association are rallying Malaysians to sign a petition.

Among the first few Malaysians who have signed this petition are employees of Mondelēz International (Malaysia) and its partners.

The High Pole Lion Dance technique was founded in Muar, Johor, more than 20 years ago and was pioneered by KSK. Since then, this unique performance has spread across the globe, with troupes from Malaysia winning 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 internationally recognised,” said Eugenia Goh, Brand Manager, Biscuits (Fuel), at Mondelēz International (Malaysia), who sells Jacob’s.

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.

“In 1988, we started off as a small lion dance troupe and in Muar. 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 established by our Malaysian troupes,“

“To make our Unesco 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,“ said KSK Troupe leader and coach Tang Puay Sen.

Malaysians may sign the petition to rally the Unesco to recognise High Pole Lion Dance as a cultural heritage here (

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