Malaysia welcomes foreign embassies’ cultural exchange initiatives: Minister

20 Mar 2019 / 14:51 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture welcomes more cultural exchange programmes with foreign embassies to elevate friendships through the arts and culture, said its minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.

He pointed out that the “Whirling Dervishes of Rumi and Marbling Art Show” presentation held Monday night in Kuala Lumpur for the first time, organised by the Turkish Embassy, as an impetus to increased bilateral relations.

“Our ministry will endorse and support synergetic programmes and collaborations with embassies for future regional programmes and activities. I look forward to going to Turkey to share our culture with Turkish people,” he said at the event, here.

Also present was Turkey’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Merve Safa Kavakci, where she led a moment of silence for the victims of the tragic mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Attended by hundreds of people, one of the performances was ‘Sema’, a choreography and meditation of dervishes (Whirling Dervishes).

This was followed by a performance of Rumi’s poetry, accompanied by authentic Sufi music.

Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi is a Sufi philosopher and mystic poet of Islam.

The special event was under the auspices of the Turkish Embassy in collaboration with Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Tourism Office, sponsored by Konya Metropolitan Municipality, Corporate Information Travel Agency (CIT) and Turkish Airlines.

The Turkish Embassy’s Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, in a statement, said the Whirling Dervishes is one of the most interesting cultural events which Malaysians and tourists all over the world pay special attention to.

“We possess Islamic culture as a huge denominator in strengthening the bond between the two countries. We would like to showcase Turkey’s Islamic cultural and artistic legacy in Malaysia more, so that we can share more with Malaysian people. The relations between Malaysia and Turkey is getting closer and this is reflected in the number of tourist flows, the trade relations and in many other fields,” it added in a statement.

It said there have been many requests from Malaysians who are interested to explore the legacies of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey.

“Throughout the year, we would like to celebrate the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations by organising various types of cultural events. We expect more Malaysians to visit our country and more Turkish people to visit Malaysia to understand each culture more,” it said. — Bernama

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