Sunday, 9 December 2007
KOTA WARISAN - one step closer to a new dream project!
yesterday marked the birth of enfiniti's biggest ever project to-date. we (FINALLY!) signed an m.o.u with the ministry of culture etc etc to build my lifelong dream project, a malaysian cultural village, working titled "KOTA WARISAN" for now.
i have always wondered what to do with foreign guests and friends who come to visit us, cos after visiting the twin towers and taking them to putrajaya, what else is there really? here we are selling malaysia as the ultimate tourist destination of asia, "truly asia" and all, but really, what does a tourist visiting malaysia take home with him? photos taken against the tallest twin towers in the world. a coaster and matchboxes from a club in heritage row or jalan p ramlee. a t shirt from hard rock cafe kuala lumpur. memories of eating "malaysian food" every morning from the hotel breakfast buffet.
a visit to the maori cultural village with the family 5 years ago inspired an idea to set up something similar in our own country. at the temaki maori village, what sold me was the idea of the interactive experience that made this a very different one from the experience of watching a maori cultural show at the hotel lobby.
i set to work on the idea upon returning home, sharing sketches and drawings of the village the way i remembered it, with dear ol'pat ibrahim, who has always been there to "layan" my every dream and fantasy for 15 years or so now, bless him. we roped shah rezza in to give us input on traditional customs and palace protocol.
several years later, after the dust had settled on PGL the movie and musical, we picked up where we had left off and pitched the idea to the prime minister who loved it. then the whole business of going from ministry to ministry lah of course, letters here letters there,presentation after presentation, meeting after meeting. i dont know how we can still be as enthusiastic after all this time, but its still burning, so i know its still gonna happen.
anyway. i thought i'd post this for the record and include excerpts from the press release,just to share...
“We designed the concept of this village as an interactive, personalized tour which will include elements of our architecture, folklore, history, traditional storytelling, food, music and dance which form a big part of our rich heritage.”
“The cultural experience the world is talking about today is more than just a passive one. Tourists are becoming a lot more discerning when it comes to what they want to see and the way they want to feel after they see it.” - Tiara Jacquelina
A MALAYSIAN CULTURAL VILLAGE IN KUALA LUMPUR
Visitors to Malaysia will be introduced to another major attraction that will make their holiday in Malaysia an unforgettable one.
KOTA WARISAN Kuala Lumpur will be an authentic Malaysian Cultural Village, right in the heart of the city,in Jalan Davis.
A CULTURAL VILLAGE WITH A DIFFERENCE:
The difference will be the EXPERIENCE. A visit to KOTA WARISAN will be an interactive experience where guests are put into the environment and participate in activities at the Village rather than just,for instance, watching a passive display of culture on stage in a hotel lobby.
Drawing on our experience and strength in theatre and particularly in musicals, KOTA WARISAN will be presented in the form of a combination of ENVIRONMENTAL and PROMENADE THEATRE, which immerses and involves the audience in the performance; where all the villagers are performers, the action happens around the audience and the audience follows the performers around the space.
KOTA WARISAN is a fortified village that comes to life with traditional songs, dances and activities daily from 5.00 pm. It is an authentic traditional village where one can witness the experience of folklore and legends shared from the hearts of the old through the lives of the young.
Before entering the gateway, visitors are greeted by the Bendahara or Prime Minister and visitors are briefed on Malaysian village customs as well as palace protocol.
Our aim is for each visitor to leave the village with a authentic, deeper and more spiritual experience, an understanding of what it is that makes us unique as Malaysia; how our history, traditions, customs and rituals form a big part of our lives even today, how we lived, what we ate, and more importantly, a lasting memory of “living” amongst the people of Malaysia for the day!
At this point, several tour leaders will be introduced in the form of costumed characters from Malay folklore, e.g Pak Pandir, Si Luncai etc. These bi-lingual costumed characters will play the roles of teacher, comedian and host, providing information on our culture and traditions as visitors encounter and experience it, and advising on the protocol that is expected throughout their tour of KOTA WARISAN; all the while injecting their commentary with generous doses of humour. Female Visitors are then given a “selendang”, Male visitors are given a Sarong to wear over their clothes.
They are now ready to be a part of the set and the experience.
WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE THE VILLAGE?
Within the village, there are re-enactments of everyday life and the activities of our people, including food preparation, weaponry, weaving, and even Malay customs and traditions such as a Malay Wedding, the Cukur Jambul Ceremony…
…and even a Circumcision ceremony!
Once again education is mixed with humour, and the entire crowd becomes involved in the dancing, singing, food preparation, and will even experience kampung-style “gotong-royong” spirit as they help out in wedding preparations.
Visitors to KOTA WARISAN will get a taste of both the village spirit as well as experience the grandeur of the highest rung of our culture and society, when their tour ends with an invitation to the Malay Royal Palace. Here, the finest of Malay Architecture, a stage performance and a dinner fit for a Sultan will crown the day’s journey.
KOTA WARISAN Kuala Lumpur is developed by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage ( KeKKWa), who have appointed Enfiniti Productions Sdn. Bhd. to operate, market and manage the Village.
The Village will be built in an area of 8 acres in Jalan Davis, Kuala Lumpur, right in the heart of the city.
We aim to open our gates to our first visitors by the end of 2008.