Silat

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Inscribed in 2019 (14.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© The Department of National Heritage, Malaysia, 2018

Silat is a combative art of self-defence and survival rooted in the Malay Archipelago. Traced back to the early days of the Langkasuka Kingdom, Silat has evolved into a fine practice of physical and spiritual training also encompassing traditional Malay attire, Silat musical instruments and customs. There are many styles of Silat, inspired by the movements of human anatomy, nature and animals. For example, Silat Harimau involves an aesthetic rhythmic motion imitating the art of self-defence and attack of the tiger. In Malaysia alone, there are more than 150 known Silat styles whose names derive from natural elements such as animals and plants. Originally, Malay Silat was practised by warriors – as noble enforcers of justice – but nowadays practitioners consist of masters, gurus, teachers and students, who are responsible for maintaining the practice. Training sessions usually take place in the evening or at night in an open space such as a courtyard, led by the Master and ‘Jurukaka’. A large number of practitioners have been trained and nurtured, and an increasing number of training centres have been established in various regions. With this accelerated dissemination, the practice has increasingly transcended its status as a martial art to become a performing art; consequently, it is now a popular sport for health and leisure.

Consent for Silat – Malay martial art for the nomination as Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO
Silat performance Sports Carnival Telekom (KASTEL 2016) on 13th May 2016 at Shah Alam, Selangor
Silat performance during the Opening Ceremony of SEA Games, Kuala Lumpur 2017
Movement of Silat by practitioners
1,000 female practitioners (Srikandi) performance
The various styles of Silat practitioners 'Silat Harimau Gayong' Malaysia
Silat performance by youngster practitioners
'Pendekar Muda' – Silat in a TV reality programme
Performance in “Pendekar Muda” TV reality Programme
Various types of Silat practitioners participate in 'Malam Pendekar' events at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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