BACHOK: University of Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) established cooperation with the embassy of the United States (US) in conserving and honoring the history and uniqueness of the heritage art called rebana kercing so that it continues to flourish in today’s modern age.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr. Razli Che Razak said that the process was carried out through a research project known as ‘Preservation of the Rebana Kercing of Kampung Laut, Kelantan’ under the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) research fund involving expenses worth RM200,000.
According to him, a total of 27 UMK researchers and staff are involved in carrying out this project through studies and research involving the socio-cultural perspective of the community in conserving the art of kercing tambourine performance which is believed to have been established since 150 years ago in Kampung Laut, Tumpat.
“Our results have successfully documented two books of research and conservation titled ‘Kampung Laut Rebana Kercing: Preservation of the Art’ and ‘The Preservation of Kercing Rebana: The Journey’ which will be published in the near future as a legacy of knowledge for future generations to see. .
“The content of the book written by the UMK research group covers various areas of specialization including related to the current situation, history, Persatuan Rebana Kercing, instruments, dance, costumes, song art and activists,” he said during a press conference after the closing ceremony for the project ‘Preservation of the Kercing Tambourine of Kampung Laut, Kelantan’ which was performed by the United States Ambassador to Malaysia, Brian D. McFeeters at the Chancellor’s Hall, here today.
Dr. Razli said, for the publication in English it features visuals of conservation efforts including interviews, field work and the digitalization process of training as well as cultural performances of Rebana Kercing through the AFCP project.
He said, at the same time, UMK also published a documentary on rebana kercing which revolved around the story and history of the art in Kampung Laut for several generations until it became part of the flesh and blood of the people including the people of Kelantan.
“The 13-episode documentary titled ‘Rebana Kercing: The Dying Arts’ will be shown on television soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, McFeeters expressed his pride that the Ambassador’s Fund channeled by the US embassy succeeded in supporting the conservation of kercing tambourine art for future generations to see.
“For the past 20 years, this fund (Ambassador Fund) has been implemented around the world to establish friendship through cultural heritage and strengthen people-to-people relations.
“We will continue to work to ensure that the world community has access to the diversity of cultures and traditions found in Malaysia, including the kercing tambourine,” he said. – MESSENGER
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