ALOR SETAR, July 8 (Bernama) -- The Kedah National Culture and Arts Department (JKKN) wants the 'Jikey', a traditional Malay dance form, to be brought back to the state for the benefit of the younger generation.

State JKKN director Mohd Rizal Ismail said Jikey was not only entertaining, it was also a symbol of racial unity in the country as it featured characters of various races like the Chinese and Indians.

"Some people may confuse Jikey with the Mak Yong, but in actual fact, they are different in terms of characters, story line, dance moves, melody and musical instruments used," he told Bernama here today.

He said in the 60s, Jikey was very popular in Kedah and Perlis, and even in south Thailand where it is known as 'Likey'.

Mohd Rizal said Jikey was usually presented in musical theater genre with a comedy concept with funny dialogue and the cast wearing masks or costumes which were comical.

At present, he said , there were only two Jikey troupes in the state, both in Langkawi.

A Jikey performance will be held at the Temasya 'Oghang' Kedah which will be from July 25 to 27 at Dataran Sungai Korok in Jitra.