Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Traditional Kadazan wedding at Lokawi Wildlife Park

LOKAWI: When Belgian, Benoit Goossens and Mexican, Milena Salgado Lynn decided to tie the knot recently, they opted to go through it the traditional Kadazan way.

Benoit was clad in his ‘gaung’, a traditional black velvety shirt with golden trimmings, while Milena was wearing the ‘sinuanga’, a term for the Kadazan black sleeveless blouse also with golden trimmings and a long black sarong.

The event took place at the Lokawi Wildlife Park and was attended by some 150 friends and colleagues of the couple, which included the State Wildlife Department’s director, Dr Laurentius Ambu and his wife.

“We wanted to have something special to symbolize our love for each other and for Sabah. Dr Laurentius, our friend, is of Kadazan origin and he suggested the traditional wedding ceremony. We found the concept inspiring, as it is full with symbols of love, respect, happiness, tradition and care for each other and our families: a simple but truthful rite. It was also a way to show how much we love the people who have welcomed us so warmly, like Dr. Laurentius and his wife Juliana,” said Benoit.

He added that both of them love Sabah because of the generosity of her people, as well as their tolerance, the mixed cultures and religions, the respect for each other and obviously, the nature of Sabah.

“The State has wonderful wildlife and astonishing landscapes. We feel at home in Sabah,” he said.

Both are involved in conservation work in the State, Benoit is the director of Danau Girang Field Centre, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Sabah while Milena, who arrived to Sabah some three years ago also works with him and is currently undertaking her PhD.

“We hope to stay in Sabah for many years. We have found a place where we can live peacefully, where we can bring something, and where our children will be happy,” said Benoit.

The rituals were conducted by Bobohizan priestess, Rosnani Sogondu from Kampung Kibabaig Penampang.

“I have been doing this for the last 40 years,” said Rosnani, 78. She explained that each of the rituals carried a meaning.

Continue reading at: Traditional Kadazan wedding at Lokawi Wildlife Park

No comments: