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Mak Yong – a rich regional tradition under threat December 5, 2019 – Posted in: In The News

By Regina Hoo The ancient, ritualistic folk theatre Mak Yong was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2005 — a proud first for “any Malaysian item of cultural heritage”? But though it is an art form steep in tradition and heritage, Mak Yong surprisingly has no “real” history. Theories have been advanced to explain its origins, but none can be confirmed, says Prof. Datuk Dr Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof,…

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Magic in the Malay World January 4, 2018 – Posted in: In The News

The difference between divination and the divine is a fine one. South-East Asia is a region with strong beliefs in the spirit world, blending modern rationality and traditional knowledge. There is great reciprocity between the seen and the unseen – from spells to win back an errant lover to communing with the spirits, raising crops, curing illnesses and cursing enemies, magic is everyday practice for some of its polyglot inhabitants. In Myanmar, during British colonial…

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