Friday, December 14, 2012

Bakun Fest to be celebrated on a grander scale next year

KUCHING: Bakun Fest will be celebrated on a much grander scale next year in conjunction with the nation’s 50th anniversary.

Chief executive officer of the Asap Koyan Development Community (AKDC) Henry Luhat said the festival was first held last year to commemorate the exodus of the 15 native communities of the Balui Valley to the promised land of Apau Koyan in Belaga district.

It was so well-received that the event has been placed on the Sarawak Tourism Calendar, which AKDC said was of great honour for the people of Bakun Resettlement Scheme and a testimony of its past success.

“However, as the organisation of this cultural, sporting and social event is based on the notion of private financial initiative, AKDC and its co-organisers will not be organising the Bakun Fest in 2012 but will conserve its resources and manpower for the forthcoming 50th Golden Jubilee Celebration of Malaysia in 2013,” Henry told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

The first Bakun Fest, a brainchild of AKDC, which was held last year lasted for seven days and seven nights.

The fest is a time of celebration and reminiscent of the great past way of life enjoyed and experienced by the indigenous people of the Balui Valley.

It also symbolises the beacon of hope and resilience of the native people of the Kenyah, Kayan, Lahanan, Penan and Bhuket tribes who were resettled to make way for the development of Bakun Hydro Electric Project in Belaga district.

Last year, the Bakun Fest attracted some 10,000 participants and visitors including those from nearby places such as Belaga, Tubau, Baram and Bintulu.

There were also overseas visitors as well as those from Kalimantan, Indonesia who managed to make their way to Sg Asap where the Bakun Fest was first celebrated.

There were various events and competitions which the locals were given the opportunity to participate in.

There were traditional games and sports such as wrestling, top-spinning and traditional handicraft competitions such as weaving, basket making and bead making.