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Festival Creation and Identity Construction in the Overseas Chinese Society: A Case Study of Klang Music Festival (KMF), Selangor, Malaysia
Klang Music Festival
Malay (Malaysia) was one of the overseas settlements for the diasporic Chinese since 16th century. And Malaysia is located in Malaca Bay, which is an important interjunction of the West and the East. From 17th Centry, Chinese started to build variations of associations which has functions of society, fuctions of welfare and functions of arbitration. The associations played the role like local government of hometown, and it had the force of congealing the Chinese’s cohesion. Chinese traditional cultural life came with Chinese immigrants to Malaysia, not only valued by Chinese, but also developed well. But as the new type of entertainment were introduced and the society had changed after the Second World War, Chinese traditional cultural life had declined casually, which arouse the crisis awareness of cultural persevation in Chinese associations. In 1974, the musical clubs in Klang, Selangor, tried to turn the tide and co-founded Klang Music Festival(KMF) to promote healthy recreational activities. KMF’s association rotation system was a pioneering. It surpassed the boundaries of traditional dialect groups and strengthened the link between the associations. KMF has been established for 45 years, it has the matured systems and ceremonies for festivals. Up to now, there have been up to 29 associations, music clubs and news medias to host the festival together. This festival of cooperation across dialect groups not only promotes the inheritance and solidarity within the association, but also reconstructs the Chinese cultural identity inside the Chinese in Klang. The external community directly and indirectly promotes the development of the music industry and generalizes the cultural image in Klang area. This article focuses on the evolution of post-war recreational activities in Malaysian Chinese society and the development of music groups in Klang. At the same time, it introduces the process and development of the KMF, and explores the internal integration of the KMF to Chinese groups and Chinese society, and the impact on the external connection of the Malaysian music industry and Klang City.
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