Boria is most popular in the northern states of Malaysia, especially in Penang. The origin of Boria was related to the Karbala incident, i.e. the killing of Saidina Hussein r.a. by Muawiyah Abi Suffian.
The Boria presentation has 2 segments, namely the comedian sketch (lawak jenaka) and singing. There are no specific instruments used in the Boria presentation . The important aspect is the ability of the musicians to play music according to the rhythmic singing of the group leader ( tukang karang).
Hence the only instruments required for Boria presentation are normally just the violin and the gendang (drum) . Nevertheless, more instruments used will make the presentation livelier and merrier. Among the instruments that can be used include the violin, gambus (lute), marvas (drum), tabla (drum), simbal (percussion), gendang (drum), accordion , harmonica and others.
The costumes, music, dialogue and story in a Boria presentation resemble strong Arabian influence.