Sunday, May 31, 2015

Harvest Festival promotes cultural diversity

PENAMPANG: Pesta Kaamatan or the Harvest Festival, which is traditionally celebrated by the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut communities in Sabah, is capable of promoting cross-cultural understanding, tolerance and acceptance of ethnic, cultural, religious differences, said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Pairin, who is also chairman of the state’s main committee for the celebration, said the occasion also created a sense of belonging and strengthened cooperation between the various ethnic groups.

“This year, in keeping with the times, the theme of the Harvest Festival is “Peace and Unity Through Culture”.

“This theme is very apt in helping to address polemics on  issue of racial extremism which can bring about disunity and tension in our  multiracial society,” he said at the closing of the state-level Harvest Festival celebration here yesterday.

The closing ceremony was officiated by Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri, Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.

Pairin said efforts in maintaining security and unity in a multi-cultural society should not solely be the responsibility of the government.

“This is a collective responsibility. The generation today decides whether we can appreciate, harness and inherit this cultural diversity as a solid foundation for the people of 1Malaysia,” he said.