Alena to represent Malaysia at Dubai festival

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KUCHING: Sarawak’s very first professional female Sape musician and artist, Alena Murang, will represent Malaysia at ‘Te Aratini: Festival of Indigenous and Tribal People’ at the Dubai Expo 2020 on Nov 17 to Nov 19.

According to a press statement, Alena will be performing numbers from her album ‘Sky Songs And Kelabit and Kenyah folk songs’ to a live and virtual audience on the international stage in Dubai.

On top of that, Alena is also one of the panelists to discuss ‘The potency of our arts, film, and music in maintaining community cohesion’ alongside the Canadian indigenous artist, Raven Kanaktata, and Tupe Solomon Tanoa’i, 2020 NZ Woman of Influence Winner.

“It is an honour to be the ambassador of my tribe and of other Malaysian indigenous groups, to amplify our voices and aspirations as well as to forge links with the indigenous people from other countries at this year’s expo.

“I look forward to sharing our stories and also to learning from their experiences, especially in the arts and media industries,” said Alena who is a Kelabit.

For the record, Alena, who currently champions the cause of reviving endangered languages in Malaysia has produced songs in Kelabit and Kenyah languages which are also at the façade of extinction.

Having garnered several awards and accolades, she is set to share her ways in reinvigorating her heritage with contemporary touch through music, film, and fashion.

Meanwhile, besides Alena, the narrations of Malaysian indigenous and tribes will be further highlighted with the talk on the knowledge transmission through traditional art forms by Sarawak Museum curator Dora Jok.

On top of that, the National Department for Culture and Arts Dance Group is also scheduled to perform at the opening ceremony.

Te Aratini is the world expo’s first indigenous and tribal people festival organised with the partnership of Iwi Chairs Forum, NZ Maori Tourism and New Zealand government.

This international event aims to ignite connections between indigenous tribes globally in conjunction with Tolerance and Inclusivity Week at Dubai Expo 2020 and will be the platform to showcase the untapped potential that indigenous and tribal people can offer to solving global issues.

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