Festival Features Malaysian Themes In Fashion, Food, Art and Adventure

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Festival Features Malaysian Themes In Fashion, Food, Art and Adventure

The movie "Anna and the King," supposedly set in Thailand but filmed in Malaysia, may have rekindled tourists' infatuation with Malaysia. But the country has actually long been famous for exotic batik artwork, adventure excursions and its multi-cultural society.

From April 27 to May 5, the Shilla Hotel will host a Malaysian Festival in which visitors can sample the country's rich culture. With the help of the Malaysian Tourism Board, guests can enjoy nightly fashion shows with Malaysian models, ethnic foods or a selection of 35 pieces of artwork displayed throughout the lobby.

Also flying in for the celebrations is the king of Malaysia. "Korea is a good country to visit, and we're trying to foster better relations," according to Syed Yahya Syed Othman of the tourism board.

Spring is the season for honeymoons, and Malaysia is a hot destination for newlyweds in Korea. According to Maureen Kim, also with the tourism board, Langkawi is the resort area of choice.

Malaysia's history is marked by periods of colonial rule under the Portuguese, Dutch and British. As a result, the country now has a blend of languages, religions, traditions and food. The largest three ethnic groups are Malaysian, Indian and Chinese. All three types of cuisines will be presented at the festival.

Three chefs ?Raja Segaran Al Ramachandran, Jamal Azizi B. Jamaluddin and Ng Kok Wee ?will be preparing food at Parkview, located within the hotel. Entrees range from nasi kerabu and fried fish with mango chutney to crystal prawn with caramelized rambutan. Initially, it was difficult for the hotel to make the dishes due to the lack of Malaysian ingredients in Korea, according to Anna Han from Shilla Hotel. The lunch buffet is from noon to 2 p.m. and costs 32,000 won ($24). Dinner is from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and costs 36,000 won.

The fashion shows start at 7 p.m. and will feature the designer Rizalman Ibrahim. Though faithful to traditional style, Ibrahim updates his designs for the modern woman.

The two artists, Amiruddin Bin Ariffin and Sabri Mohd Sallch, will present collections of their oil paintings.

Some of the paintings are made of silk, using a technique similar to batik prints.

by Joe Yong-hee

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