Upbeat Heritage as 24 Festive Drums Launches its Museum

Liow Cai Tung at the launch of the 24 Festive Drums Museum with Danny Wong (left) and Tan Chai Puan (further right), founder of 24 Festive Drums

Locals can now learn better about the Johor-born percussion heritage

After its establishment in 1988 and its widespread influence both nationwide and overseas, the 3 year-old Chinese percussion concept, the 24 Festive Drums has launched its 24 Festive Drums Museum at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Johor Bahru mid-June with Liow Cai Tung, Johor’s Exco of Tourism and Women, Family and Community Development officiating the launch.

Founder of the 24 Festive Drums, Tan Chai Puan cited that there are now around 30,000 drummers worldwide under its umbrella since their humble beginnings at Foon Yew High School in Johor Bahru which was founded together with the late Tan Hooi Soon.

Demonstration of the 24 Festive Drums drumming experience on the cafe’s top floor

The origin of the 24 Festive Drums is based on the cumulative 24 festivals in the Chinese agricultural community’s lunar calendar. Each drum represents one festival and the seasons are painted in two bold Chinese calligraphy on the respective drums. It is listed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as national’s intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009, the second Chinese community-initiated culture that has received the honour after Muar, Johor’s, high pole lion dance while the third one is Johor Bahru’s Chingay Parade.

Liow Cai Tung speaking about the importance of acknowledging Johor-born heritage and promoting it for Visit Johor 2020 at the 24 Festive Drums Cafe

Liow said the 24 Festive Drums Museum would definitely add flavour, charm and character to Johor Bahru city. The existing 24 Drums Cafe is being refurbished into an interactive museum and her portfolio is looking at it as a way to boost the domestic and international tourism in Johor Bahru. The museum will enable visitors to experience drumming for themselves to help enhance tourists’ experience in this area and complement the heritage of Johor Bahru which is rich in tradition.

Public could look out for the museum to open by end of August this year. Tan Chai Puan hopes to attract many tourists whereby they could have added options to enjoy the city and expose the culture to more non-Chinese visitors.