Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cultural medley on display at Sabah Fest

KOTA KINABALU: More than 1,000 people, including several foreign visitors, were treated to a colourful extravaganza at the launch of the Sabah Fest 2006 yesterday.

The more than 300 performers at this unique and anticipated cultural event of the year lived up to the expectations with a stunning performance.

The event was launched at the Magellan Grand Ballroom of Sutera Harbour Resort & Spa by the Head of State Tun Haji Ahmadshah Abdullah last night.

Also present were his wife Toh Puan Masuyah Awang Japar, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman and wife Datin Faridah Haji Tussin, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Tan Sri Datuk Chong Kah Kiat and wife Puan Sri Datin Ivy Chong, and the state cabinet ministers.

The event, a medley of Sabah’s cultural identity, its people and their unique practices, was a source of fascination for tourists and locals alike.

The opening performance featured a group of young dancers from six primary schools around Kota Kinabalu who performed Adai-Adai, Sumazau, Daling-Daling and Silat.

It was followed by a story of humankind, which expresses a range of emotions from spiritual worship to earthly desire, performed by a Dusun Lotud troupe.

The Sumayau, a ritual dance, is usually performed during the Rumaha, a ceremony to honour the spirit of skulls. It followed by a Magahau ritual to honour the spirit of sacred jars.

Various dances of Sabah’s tribes, such as Bolak Bolak, a dance by the Bajau people of Semporna and Magunatip, a famous warrior dance, were also performed.

Five districts were involved in the festival this year – Kota Marudu, Beaufort, Tuaran, Semporna and Lahad Datu.

Earlier in the morning, visitors and tourists sampled local delicacies such as local kuih-muih, cakes and traditional foods. Skilled handicraft makers from various ethnic groups demonstrated their craft to audience members.

Traditional woven clothes such as the dastar (Bajau ceremonial head-dress), tinohian (Rungus men’s headgear) and rinangkit were exhibited outside the ballroom.

Daily cultural shows will be held in major shopping complexes in the city and at the State Museum in conjunction with the festival.

Courtesy of New Sabah Times

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