Thursday, June 21, 2012

20 countries confirm participating in Sabah International Folklore Festival 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Twenty countries have confirmed their participation in the 7th Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) 2012 and among them are new entries, Finland and East Timor.

Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun launched the “Promotion of SIFF 2012” at Wisma Innoprise here yesterday.

According to him, the response to the festival this year is very overwhelming as a total of 75 countries have shown their interests to take part. However, only 20 were selected by the organisers.

Of the 20 countries, twelve have already submitted their travel itinerary and are expected to fly in by the 30th of this month, Masidi disclosed.

“We encouraged the participants to come in early and they will be treated as tourists as this will enable them to see the beauty of the State, its nature and the many interesting places to visit,” he said.

This is also one of the effective ways to sell Sabah to foreign visitors by words of mouth, the minister added.

Masidi also revealed that this year, Sabah will not compete in the festival on diplomatic ground that the State should not pit its culture against that of the participating countries.

Meanwhile, the theme for this year’s fest is “Peace Through Culture” and it will be a 10-day event beginning from July 8 to 17.

The SIFF 2012 is an international event that endeavours to promote peace through cultural tourism among participating countries and to introduce the State’s rich and unique cultures.

It is organised annually by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Environment through the Sabah Cultural Board (SCB) and is truly meant to be an East-West Cultural rendezvous.

The folklore fest also provides the opportunity for culture enthusiasts to enjoy and witness the beauty and uniqueness of cultural dance performances by various ethnics of the world.