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ICAF 2024 Celebrates Student’s Cultural  Creativity

Updated: Jun 16

Writer: NURUL FAEZAH MOHD YAACOB 

Editor: HEMMA ELLANGOVAN 


(Source by Pusat Kebudayaan UKM)


In the bustling hub of university life, cultural events emerge as beacons of enrichment and diversity that could stand out as vibrant arenas for talent to flourish. Events such as music festivals, art exhibitions, dance performances, and theater shows provide students with an opportunity to showcase their talents, enhance their skills, and fully explore their creative potential. The wide range of events, from theater productions and art exhibits to multicultural festivals, possess significant value that goes just beyond simple entertainment.


ICAF 2024 (Inter-College Arts Festival) is an annual cultural and arts festival that was organized by Pusat Kebudayaan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for all UKM’s residential colleges. This event featured a stunning array of talent and cultural diversity, solidifying its reputation as one of the most anticipated events of the academic year. Moreover this event showcases the artistic and cultural abilities of the students through a range of competitions and events. These competition includes Lukisan Budaya, Semangat 48 (short film), Sketsa Komedi Rakyat, Solekan Kreatif, Tarian Moden Kreatif, Peragaan Busana, Koir & Nyanyian Solo and Pertandingan Band.


These events encourage students to showcase their talents and share their unique perspectives with the world while discovering new ways of expressing themselves by offering avenues for innovative thinking and teamwork. This time, ICAF has upgraded this event by organizing 10 competitions with all 12 colleges taking part in it for the first time. 


The Chief Programme Director of ICAF 2024, Rosmalinda binti Abu Samah said, 


“I am so proud and I did not expect the positive feedback that I would get from the students. Their efforts for all of the performances that they gave in is where we can see their earnestness in competing in this competition as this is the platform where the students can display their artistic talents.” 


She then added on how she was so honored because this festival managed to get the attention from students and the college principal itself. 


Among all the competitions, there were international students from Indonesia that participated in the traditional dance. Shibra Uzma Delfi (Faculty of Economics and Management) was one of the students that represents Kolej Ibu Zain. Shibra said that she has had a passion and interest in dancing ever since her childhood.




(Shibra, on the left. Source by Nurul Faezah Mohd Yaacob)


“This is my first time learning Malaysian traditional dance, and it was different from Indonesian dancing. I learnt Tarian Inang and Zapin Kelantan. Previously, I always danced to Boria so learning new dances from Malaysian culture is a fascinating experience for me,” said Shibra. She stated that ICAF not only allowed her to showcase her existing talents, but also expose her to new cultural experiences and artistic traditions.


(Peragaan Busana, source by Pusat Kebudayaan UKM)


ICAF 2024 not only provided a platform for artistic expression but also fostered a sense of community and inclusivity. Participants from different cultural backgrounds collaborated on performances which highlighted the power of art to bring people together. This not only enhances their confidence but also helps them to be acknowledged for their abilities. Performing or showcasing their creative talents at these festivals is an achievement for the students that can give them a sense of accomplishment and a boost to their self-esteem.


Imran Mohd Yusof, a final-year student in Media and Communication. Throughout his degree, he was actively involved in cultural activities and competitions hosted at UKM. He is a vocalist in Artisukma, a club run by Pusat Kebudayaan UKM. Nonetheless, he is the President of Kelab Suara Mas and Kolej Keris Mas.


“I have so much experience in joining cultural events in UKM.  I am mostly involved with performances that were organized by Pusat Kebudayaan like Program Jamuan Raya, any HEP events, any opening or closing ceremony event. At the same time,  I also joined a solo singing competition inside and outside UKM,” he said. For ICAF 2024, Imran’s taking part in two competitions which are Pertandingan Nyanyian Solo Lagu Tradisional and Pertandingan Band. This was his last ICAF competition before graduating in another couple of months. 


 (Pertandingan Nyanyian Solo Lagu Tradisional, source by Pusat Kebudayaan UKM)


In the whirlwind of university life, Imran often finds himself  juggling academic assignments with a myriad of extracurricular programs and activities. While the pressures of coursework might be overwhelming, he believes that participating in extracurricular activities provides invaluable opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and community engagement.


“I put priority on what comes first. For example, if the competition is today and the due date is tomorrow, I will focus on the competition. I am not exactly putting assignments on first priority. Depends on the timeline, which comes first. Actually, it is manageable. We have a lot of time. We just need to know how to manage time well and prioritize what comes first,” said Imran. Effective time management is key to balancing academic assignments and extracurricular programs. 



(Winner for Pertandingan Nyanyian Solo Lagu Tradisional, source by Pusat Kebudayaan UKM)


Throughout his involvement and participation in UKM’s competition, Imran has won various accolades and managed to receive placements in every singing competition in which he has participated in UKM. Among it was; second place in Band Competition for KARKON 2023, second place in Pertandingan Bizsiswa by CESMED, third place Band Competition for ICAF 2024 and first place place in Pertandingan Nyanyian Solo Traditional also for ICAF 2024. 


“My passion in singing has made me realize that if we will, we will.” He was grateful as he was given the opportunity to shine on stage, even though he is currently in his internship. 


To Imran, ICAF is one of the good initiatives for students to take steps in the field of singing at the campus level. “...we have so many singers and talents that can sing but not many have the courage to be on the stage. So if you are a student who wants to go far with your talent and learn more about singing, challenge yourself to enter competitions.” he said.


In a nutshell, this event had drawn students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. ICAF 2024 celebrates this diversity by showcasing the diverse range of customs, languages, and traditions that are represented on campus. From this event, I had gained the opportunity to engage and experience directly with the diversity of cultures that were showcased in the competitions throughout these six days of ICAF 2024. This exposure has influenced my knowledge and appreciation of global diversity.




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