KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian embassy in Helsinki, in collaboration with the Kita documentary production team, recently organised a film screening as part of its continuous cultural diplomacy initiatives.

Charge d’affairs Mohamed Ariff Mohamed Ali told Bernama that the effort is aimed at promoting Malaysia and its rich cultural heritage to a global audience.

Kita is a powerful documentary that highlights the cultural tapestry of Sabah. Through compelling storytelling and breathtaking visuals, the film showcases the harmonious coexistence of diverse ethnic communities in Sabah, celebrating their unique traditions, languages, and heritage.

“For the international and Finnish audiences, this initiative underscores the message that diversity is a strength. In today’s globalised world, amidst escalating geopolitical tensions, this principle is more relevant than ever.

“The airing of Kita is timely as it celebrates an important milestone in Malaysia-Finland relations. I hope this initiative will continue to foster unity despite differences and strengthen ties for future generations,” he said.

Mohamed Ariff conveyed these sentiments during a WhatsApp conversation to elaborate on the event, which also honoured the 50-year history of bilateral relations between the two countries.

He noted that Kita was first screened in 2023 for the local Malaysian diaspora, making Finland the film’s first international debut.

The screening was a collaborative effort involving the embassy, project coordinator Melody Lee, Kita producer Lim Hock Song, the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), and dedicated local volunteers.

It attracted over 120 registrations, including members of the diplomatic community, Finnish officials, travel enthusiasts, researchers, students, and Malaysians living in Finland.

The film’s messages – “Diversity is Strength,” “Diversity is Beautiful,” and “Diversity is Delicious” – were captured through the various experiences of individuals living in Sabah.

These included a multiracial Chinese-Indian family, a Chinese Muslim religious leader, a music teacher, a Malay teacher teaching Mandarin, local chefs, a community of artists called Pangrok Sulap, and an ethnic motif textile specialist. – Bernama