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Borneo, Sarawak, Sarawakian

Sarawakian youths to March on for Unity

THERE will be a youth related programme themed ‘March on for Unity 2012’ throughout this year.

It will involve a variety of activities from Youth Dialogues to Unity Talks, Cultural Concert, Foreign & Local Film Screenings, Youth Square, Cultural Concert and an International Youth Cultural Conference.

Over the weekend, the programme began with an interesting Intercultural Youth Forum.

Why should Sarawakians in general be interested in events such as the forum and others to come under ‘March on for Unity 2012’?

Because overall, the forum and the programme aim to:

  • provide a platform for youth to learn more about their own culture and other cultures in Sarawak
  • provide an opportunity for the youth to be engaged in cultural related practices and activities
  • instil mutual respect and understanding of Sarawak’s diverse cultures and its rich cultural heritage

In a time when some segments of the country seem focussed on divisiveness — often merely for political gain — it is reassuring to know that in Sarawak, at least, we are focussed on showcasing and celebrating our differences to strengthen greater understanding, acceptance and unity.

We know this understanding, acceptance and unity has existed in our great State of Sarawak for time immemorial.

However, we cannot afford to be complacent because there are certain quarters who are keen to divide us.

We need to ensure that the generations to come, starting with our youths of today, continue to understand that our differences do not divide us but bind us as uniquely Sarawakian.

It is good to know that bodies such as Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak (YPS) are working towards this goal.

Last November, I posted on a survey by the Ministry of Social Development which showed that race and religion issues were the least of the concerns for Sarawak’s youths.

Hopefully with efforts such as those by YPS, despite what happens in Malaya, we Sarawakians will always continue to protect and uphold our Sarawakian way of life.

The Borneo Post’s report:

‘March on for Unity 2012’ kicks off with intercultural forum

By Lee Ya Yun

KUCHING: A year-long youth related programme themed ‘March on for Unity 2012’ kicked off with the opening of the Intercultural Youth Forum yesterday at Yayasan Sarawak complex here.

The programme is aimed at providing a platform for youths especially from Sarawak to express their sentiments on unity by participating in dialogues, forums and other activities.

It is the joint initiative of Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak (YPS), Sarawak Development Institute (SDI) and Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd.

The forum, which will end tomorrow, has seen the participation of 170 youths aged between 18 and 25 learning about the various cultures of Sarawak.

Following the forum, other programmes will be set in motion including the Youth Square, an avenue for youth to express their talents and creative inventions through entrepreneurial opportunities, an International Film Screening of international and local films on culture and unity and an International Youth Cultural Conference.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is also the chairman of YPS Board of Trustees, graced the opening ceremony.

SDI chief executive officer Datu Aloysius J Dris said in his welcoming address that the forum was essential, as it would helped to engage the youth to learn and appreciate the cultures of others.

He reasoned that such an understanding was an important foundation for any society
seeking to live in peace and harmony.

“After this forum, it is hoped that our youth through the social media will continue to share and discuss these cultural issues constructively.”

As the intercultural forum has foreign and non-Sarawakian participants, Aloysius believed it could help reduce the cultural gap between different cultures.

He urged participants to take the opportunity to learn more about the cultures of others as well as to share their knowledge on their own culture to others.

The opening ceremony also saw the launching of the YPS website aimed at informing members of the public on its activities and programmes.

The YPS website can be found at http://www.yps.org.my.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing and Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

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