MsBE stands for Master of Science in Built Environment. It is a research-based program offered in Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design, International Islamic University Malaysia.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN SAFEGUARDING INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERTAGE: CASE STUDY OF MALACCA
This study is intended to assess the influence of universal culture on local culture which is reflected in community manifestation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in a World Heritage Site (WHS). The concerned community of the study is the cultural community of Malacca who are residing within the core zone and buffer zone of WHS location of Malacca. Since the physical setting of the WHS location is a rapidly urbanizing tourism area, it is unsurprising that the locals of the area are experiencing the impact of urbanization which is often associated to modernization and globalization. It is believed that as the community assimilates into the global mainstream of society, the distinctiveness of their local culture slowly disappears as universal culture gradually disseminates into the lives of the community. The unfavorable influence of universal culture results in common yet alarming universal community issues facing community manifestation of ICH. The community issues weaken social coherence of the community members to cooperatively safeguard their endangered and declining ICH. As a result, cultural identity of the community deteriorates and cultural diversity of the WHS will potentially be at loss. The study recognizes the community issues through the interaction between universal traits of the community with their manifestation of ICH. Universal traits are the commonly analyzed demographic and socioeconomic factors which represent the concept of diversity of the members in the cultural community. The analysis determines the statistical interactions between universal traits and community manifestation of ICH in relation to the recognized community issues from literature reviews. The data for statistical analysis are obtained from 640 samples gathered through questionnaire survey with the cultural community. Semi-structured interviews are conducted to evaluate the community issues from the authorities’ perspectives and to acknowledge the current approaches to overcome the issues and safeguard ICH. These community issues are nurturing and transmitting local culture, acculturation and deculturation, sense of place attachment, contemporary over traditional cultures, weak family institution, strong ethnic enclaves, guidance of metaphysical force, conventional over indigenous knowledge input, socioeconomic inequality and lack of interest and convenience. The issues are resolved through community involvement guidelines which are generated on the basis of three objectives of community involvement. The objectives are to allow community opinions in decision making, to allow community responsibility over changes occurring in the community and finally to allow the community to exercise control over available resources and institution. The solutions and guidelines are also produced in response to the recognized community issues. The significance of the study is realized in emphasizing the community as the most important component to safeguard their ICH in the rapidly urbanizing City of Living Culture, such as Malacca.
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The following poster had somehow summarize the whole thesis (in more aesthetic manner, I hope). The poster was submitted to IRIIE 2014, a year or two after completion of the thesis, and somehow won silver medal. If you wish to know what IRIIE was all about or look into other posters, click here.
First and foremost, I would like to thank ALLAH Almighty for giving me the momentum, health and opportunity to complete this thesis. Compared to His wisdom and supremacy, the experiences and knowledge I have obtained throughout the journey in realizing this study are next to nothing. Though only a single name appears in the front cover, there are many people who have contributed to the production of this work.
I am fortunate to have found my two supervisors, Dr. Mariana Mohamed Osman and Dr. Syahriah Bachok who have given me the will and freedom to explore the context of the study on my own, yet at the same time provided me with guidance to moderate my uncertainties. Not only have they been encouraging and insightful towards this thesis, but also towards other branches of my research exposures.
Two groups of people I owe most for my data are firstly, the research assistants who have been patient and productive in disseminating the survey forms, and secondly the cultural community of Malacca who have been cooperative in responding to the surveys, especially those from Morten Village, Portuguese Village, Chetty Village and Heren and Jonker Streets. I have gained a huge amount of experience working with these people.
My sincere thankfulness also goes to my lecturers in Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design in exchange for their shares of knowledge directly and indirectly, and without whom, I will not be able to contribute and achieve much.