KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) -- The Ukraine Embassy in Malaysia plans to bring more cultural diplomacy related programmes to Malaysia in 2019 such as film festivals and performances by contemporary musicians, said the country’s Ambassador to Malaysia Olexander Nechytaylo.
He said the traditional Ukrainian ethnic embroidery contemporary fashion show held here recently was one such cultural event, to raise Malaysians’ familiarity with the Eastern Europe country’s history and its rich culture.
“This is part of our cultural diplomacy...to reach the general public through culture. We believe the Malaysian public, (with their) traditional Batik and other traditional arts, will be able to appreciate our culture,” he told Bernama after the embroidery fashion show “Vyshyvanka – Reflection of Ukrainian Soul”, at a leading hotel here, recently.
There are more such plans but they would need budget support, he further said.
Nechytaylo said the event, held for the first time in Malaysia, was attended by a variety of people including other foreign diplomats, local designers and the business community.
.Nechytaylo explained that Vyshyvanka, the traditional art of Ukrainian ethnic embroidery that goes back to ancient times, has always been a national symbol, pride and an authentic feature of Ukraine.
Traditionally, the thread was coloured according to local formulas using bark, leaves, flowers, berries and so one. The collection of embroidered dresses at the event was by famous Ukrainian fashion designer Oksana Polonets.
The Ambassador said that he was also planning to bring a group of tour operators from Ukraine for familiarisation trip to Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi to promote Malaysia in Ukraine.
An average of more than 1,000 Ukrainian citizens visit Malaysia every month and this number could increase if there is a direct flight between Ukraine, a country of some 44 million people, and Malaysia, he said.
“Malaysia is a good destination and a safe country for visitors...has world class infrastructures, attractive shopping places, great diving locations, fantastic destinations for sailing as well as amazing wildlife spots,” he said.
Nechytaylo said Ukraine received less than 1,000 Malaysian visitors per year which he described as very small. As such, the ambassador said he was working with some Malaysian tour operators to promote Ukraine among Malaysians.
Meanwhile, Polonets who has been in the field of designing for about 15 years, said that she presented 10 models with 20 designs of dresses at the show. She said each region in Ukraine had its own style of embroidery designs.
“We showed modern dresses with traditional Ukrainian embroidery. Now we have modern fabrics and technology but in the old days every woman had to do by hand...the embroidery,” she explained, adding that the works featured symbols of love, protection, as well as sceneries of birds and flowers.
“I am happy to be here for the show...looking forward to having more such shows in Malaysia in future,” Polonets said.