International youth cultural conference 2012


“Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only in respect of economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.” – UNESCO


About the conference

Unity has always been the underlying objective and issue addressed in the youth programmes/events convened locally and internationally.  In recent years, focus has narrowed on topics like interculture, cultural tolerance and cultural gaps in addressing the issue of unity.  International organisations like UNESCO and ASEAN have been organising youth related events revolving around these topics and focus areas.

Why the YOUTH?

Youth population currently comprises approximately 18% of the world population, which gives us about 1 billion plus youth living in the world.  Based on the United Nations’ definition, youth are individuals who are between 15-24 years old.  However, these age groups for youth differ from one country to another to suit the local context.

With rapid globalisation happening in the world today, youth are directly and indirectly influenced by many other modern cultures through access to the mass media and information available on the web.  This nevertheless affects and shapes their personal values and perspectives.

Youth & Culture

Cultural understanding and acceptance is regarded as one of the pillars to build a strong foundation for a thriving society.  It must be nurtured and practiced in order for it to take root.  Sarawak is fortunate as it enjoys intercultural bonding and racial harmony among its different ethnic groups due to the early efforts of our forefathers.  In an effort to continue this legacy for Sarawak, Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak (YPS) with Sarawak Development Institute (SDI) aim to engage the youth in appreciating their local cultures and getting to know other cultures as well through an international cultural conference.

The International Youth Cultural Conference aims to bring youth from different states of Malaysia, and international youth organisations around the region and abroad to share and discuss on their culture as well as their efforts in promoting culture as a unifying force in their countries.

Objectives of the Conference

  1. To provide a platform for youth to share their thoughts and feelings on culture and the issue of unity and harmony among people of diverse cultural backgrounds;
  2. To enhance greater understanding and acceptance among the youth on unity across cultural diversity;
  3. To identify the role of youth in sustaining cultural unity and harmony in a borderless world; and
  4. To expose the Sarawak youth to their peers’ culture related programmes and activities regionally and globally.

Targeted Outcomes

  1. Share and generate ideas on starting youth activities/programmes related to cultural appreciation and understanding after the conference.
  2. Fostering network among the youth through the social media spectrum on issues related to cultural appreciation, understanding and acceptance.
  3. Learning and sharing success stories on intercultural harmony that could lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of their own cultures and other cultures.
  4. Bridging the gap between the youth from different backgrounds, cultures and countries in understanding the diversity of cultural issues faced.
  5. Building leaders of tomorrow who are open and sensitive to cultural diversities & the need for harmony to build the foundation for a thriving society.


Participants of the Conference

The international conference will be targeting about 350 youth of 18-25 years of age who are involved in cultural studies, activities/programmes and projects in their respective countries. The youth are expected to share their knowledge and experience on culture through music, dance, song and daily life’s practices.

Participants include,

  • Youth groups involved in work/programmes related to culture and unity
  • Researchers undertaking research on social issues related to youth, culture & unity
  • Policy makers on youth policies
  • Members of cultural associations/groups/youth organisations
  • Youth members interested in current issues involving youth, cultural and unity issues
  • Young social entrepreneurs
  • Active social media users/bloggers on topic related to culture, youth and unity
  • Youth Ambassadors/Role Models/Youth Icons
  • Young journalists

Conference Topics

  • Heritage and Modernity – The Way Forward
  • Youth Identity & Voice
  • Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
  • Youth Aspirations
  • Promoting Cultural Unity and Harmony through Social Media
  • Sarawak Identity
  • Tolerance vs. Understanding and Acceptance
  • Intermarriages – Its Role in Promoting Cultural Unity and Diversity

Conference Format

  • Forum (3 experts and 3 youth participants)
  • Workshop
  • Focus Group Discussion
  • Public Performance (song, theatre, dance)
  • Cultural Appreciation and Exchange Activities
  • Cultural Trips/Visits
  • Fun and Interactive Learning Elements (Roundtable setting)