Monday, October 27, 2014

Sabah’s annual Tamu Besar still going 136 years on

KOTA BELUD: Sabah’s annual Tamu Besar celebrates the unique tamu concept which still remains relevant in today’s modern society after it was first held 136 years ago.

“The Tamu is a living symbol of Sabah’s multi-cultural heritage which gathers together people from all walks of life and diverse cultures throughout the state to join in the thrill of trading,” said Kota Belud District Officer Abdul Gari Itam.

Today, the traditional open-air tamu has become an inseparable part of Sabahan life ever since it started in 1878 by the British Resident at Tempasuk who hosted the festival for the leaders to meet the people.

“This festival’s growing popularity eventually inspired other districts to host their own tamu which adds to the vibrant and bustling splendour of Sabah’s multicultural heritage,” said Abdul Gari.

Yesterday’s Tamu Besar festival was vibrant with music, food and smiles from the tens of thousands of people who thronged the affair, one of Sabah’s biggest and most anticipated events of the year.

Great fanfare and camaraderie permeated the festival that put on display Sabah’s profusion of cultures and traditions.

The Tamu Besar transformed into a multi-cultural marketplace, teeming with shoppers and vendors selling an array of traditional snacks, fresh fruits and local handicraft.

The momentous occasion was graced by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Seri Panglima Norlidah R.M. Jasni.

During the opening ceremony, local talent treated the dignitaries and crowd to a winning display of traditional dances, songs and silat performances.

Among the major attractions was the traditional Ratu Serimpak and the Tanjak Pahlawan – a contest to find the fairest lass and the most dashing lad in town.