From Persia to Penang: Boria Bops On


Musical, colourful, absolutely contagious and unsurprisingly rich in history, the boria thrives on in the twenty-first century.

In the age of the smartphone, where conversation is replaced with status updates and Snapchat posts, oral traditions and expressions are becoming a thing of the past.

But it’s not all too late. Thankfully, there are efforts being made by an impassioned few to preserve such traditions. In conjunction with the ninth anniversary celebrations (held July 7-9) of George Town’s inscription as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) chose “Oral Traditions and Expressions” as 2017’s celebration theme.

Boria is thrown a Lifeline

In order to pique public interest in boria, one of the oldest forms of Malay musical theatre, Mai Main Boria (“Let’s Play Boria”) performance and forum was held on July 8 as a collaborative project between GTWHI and Arts-Ed, a community-based organisation that educates the younger generation through arts projects.

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