Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sarawak's Melanau community Kaul festival evolving


By SHARON LING

The Kaul festival, celebrated by Sarawak’s Melanau community, just gets bigger and grander every year.

This year’s edition, which ran for 10 days, saw large crowds thronging the festival ground to participate in sports and singing competitions, to roam around the various stalls and sample Melanau delicacies such as “tebaloi” (sago crackers) or “umai” (marinated raw fish).

Festival attractions included a fishing safari at the Mukah River waterfront, a Karaoke Kaul Idol contest, seafood cooking and “umai” making contest, folk games and a procession of “serahang”, elaborately-decorated offering baskets which were traditionally used to offer food to the spirits.

Of course, there was also “tibou”, the Melanau giant swing, from which daredevil young men would launch themselves into the air while hanging only to a rope.

The festival ended with a “Pesta Berambih” concert with singers such as Zamani of Slam and Ezad of Exist on stage to thrill a 10,000-strong crowd.

The concert also featured traditional dances by the Mukah Warismu Group and a fashion show of Melanau costumes.

Source: The Star

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