South-east Asia's most popular martial art of silat which is claimed by both Malaysia and Indonesia is now recognized by Unesco as a part of the world's intangible world heritage. Unesco acknowledged that apart from being a sport, silat contains mental-spiritual, self-defense and artistic aspects associated with it.
Malaysia’s Silat and Indonesia’s Pencak silat was amongst the 15 cultural practices inscribed by Unesco's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage into its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
It is noted that silat, "the combative art of self-defense and survival", has roots in the Malay archipelago. Many of Indonesia's and Malaysia's shared cultural traditions have sparked disputes naming from batik clothing to cultural song and dance form, the history is quite controversial.
Indonesia's Foreign Ministry director for socio-cultural affairs and international organizations of developing countries, Mr Kamapradipta Isnomo on the topic of Pencak silat said that the martial art was viewed as "strengthening comradeship and maintaining social order" not only in one region but also nationwide and internationally.
He said, "Indonesia is strongly committed to preserving Pencak silat by way of its training not only as a sport and martial art but also as an art and culture,".
Whereas, In Malaysia, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi said in a statement that the Unesco listing is "world-class recognition" for silat, which is "one of the country's most enduring cultural heritage treasures".
He added, "The recognition will also reflect Malaysia's commitment to protecting the world's heritage,".
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