ART CONSERVATION: The state's version of the traditional Malay dance is on the verge of losing its identity
SARAWAK'S version of the zapin, a dance of the Malays, is on the verge of losing its identity.
Santubong member of parliament Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this was because dance teachers and choreographers were injecting the zapin of the Malays into the Sarawak version.
"Sarawak zapin is in danger of vanishing," said Wan Junaidi, who is also deputy speaker, during a Gawai open house in Bandar Baru Samariang on Friday.
He said efforts should be made to preserve the originality of the dance.
"The dance is actually very different from Johor's zapin.
"Zapin aficionados will also be able to distinguish the original Sarawak zapin and those that have been externally influenced."
He called on the Malays in the state to work to preserve their zapin before it became mere text in history books.
Wan Junaidi also said the silat -- a Malay martial art known locally as the kuntau practised by the state's ethnic tribal groups -- was also on the endangered list if no effort was made to preserve it.
"The silat of the Ibans, Bidayuhs and Orang Ulus are still not being adequately exposed.
"These warrior cultures must be showcased in the urban areas."
On the Gawai open house, he praised the residents for organising it to get the people of various races living there to better interact with one another.