Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fiesta mood in rustic Sipitang, Sabah

Story and Photos by NORMIMIE DIUN

THE ethnic cultures and traditions of the people of Sabah’s south-western Sipitang town came to life over the weekend.

A variety of ethnic dances and music from the Bisaya, Murut, Lundayeh, Kadazandusun and Kedayan communities were showcased at the annual Sipitang Tamu Besar and Pesta Gasing.

Adding flavour to the celebrations was the record-setting feat of the Kedayan community who wrote themselves into the Malay-sia Books of Records by making a 580m kuih jelurut (a traditional Kedayan food).

A top-spinning or gasing competition was the highlight of the festival.

Other highlights included exhibitions of various products by government agencies.

The tamu gave a fiesta mood to this small rustic town bordering neighbouring Sarawak’s Lawas.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, who launched the event, said it provided an opportunity to inculcate a high sense of communal pride to safeguard the people's cultures and traditions.

He said it was important to preserve the unique cultural attributes, particularly the dances, music, handicraft and traditional games and help boost the local tourism industry.

Musa said the Pesta Gasing or top-spinning festival was meaningful as it brought about the revival of the once popular sport that has waned over the years.

Courtesy of The Star