Colors of Malaysia or Citrawarne 2013.
Around 7.000 participants from different ethnic groups from all over Malaysia were dressing up in their local costumes and dresses in the dimly lit side roads leading up to Mereka Square in Kuala Lumpur. People were busy putting on make-up, rehearsing and winding up.
This was the evening of the Citrawarne – the Colors of Malaysia-festival. Since 1999 Malaysia has celebrated the various groups and ethnic people in this very grandiose way with more than 20.000 spectators in the very center of the capital.
The streets around the Square had been blocked. A tribune had been built for his royal majesty, the king, and the Minister of Tourism – as well as platforms for the thousands of spectators. As the darkness rolled in over the city, the show started.
After the welcome by the minister of Tourism and the National hymn had been played, the long parade began. One singing and dancing group after the other filled the square. From a platform, just opposite the royal tribune, each group was announced and followed with colored spotlights, as they proceeded down the road. Between ethnic dances and singers, were “showboats” – celebrating tourism in Malaysia, followed by performers on four meter high stilts, a large group of women on motorbikes, rows of taxis, four-wheel-driving cars and Porches – collected from all over and brought to KL for the event. And then again more dancers in colorful dresses and headwear. They just kept coming – starting in one end of the avenue and disappearing at the other end.
The Colors of Malaysia was – once again – a great show and celebration. After several hours watching the many colorful performers I couldn`t help admiring a country with such a diversity of cultures and ethnic groups and still holding it all together as one nation.
The tourist slogan “ Malaysia, truly Asia” covered the whole set up very well.