Ajit Singh suggests forming cultural troupe

ASEAN Secretary-General Ajit Singh has called on the grouping to form a cultural troupe to promote the region’s diverse traditions and art forms.

“An Asean cultural troupe will be able to act as ambassadors, presenting song and dance items at various tourism and cultural events, both regionally and further afield,” he said at the 1997 Asean Award presentation on Thursday.

He noted that Asean embassies outside the region in particular would find this a boon as they often made requests for presentations by such a troupe.

He said that young Asean talents could be nurtured under the tutelage of respected choreographers, musicians and other luminaries of the arts scene.

“A troupe of this nature will give budding artistes in the region something to aspire to while it displays our cultural legacy – indeed it will ensure the continued existence of this legacy,” he said.

In his speech, he noted that music had “a kind of magic” that could circumvent language barriers.

“Because of this, music is an ideal medium for forging links amongst our people and for raising awareness of their shared heritage,” he said.

Currently, the group’s projects in the field of music promotion includes the Asean Festival of Songs, which highlights contemporary Asean music written by artistes who are required to master a folk song other than that of their own countries.

Chairman of the Asean Awards organising committee, Mr Gumari Sutrisno, said the festival was one way of forging strong cultural links between member countries, “where the participants can get together in harmony”.

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