By K.KASTURI DEWI
PENANGITES had the opportunity to celebrate Sabah’s Hari Kaamatan or Harvest Festival at Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel recently. The annual festival, also known as Tadau Kaamatan, saw dancers in elaborately beaded costumes, performing traditional dances such as the Sumazau. The dancers were almost floating effortlessly in their rhythmically paced steps. Although living away from home, the Sabahans put in much effort to show and share their rich cultural and ethnic background with the locals.
The event is one of the biggest and most colourful multi-ethnic celebrations among the predominantly Kadazandusun, Iban, Murut, Rungus, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu farming communities. Besides the traditional dances, the celebration also saw a singing contest where seven contestants took part. The contestants mainly rendered songs related to the Harvest Festival.
National Unity and Integration Department director-general Datuk Azman Amin Hassan who represented Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the event was a way of keeping the tradition alive.
“It also fosters unity and promotes cultural awareness among Malaysians of our rich multi-cultural diversity,” he said. Azman said this was one of the reasons foreign tourists were impressed with Malaysia.
The celebration was organised by National Unity and Integration Department and Penang branch of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA).
Source: The Star, Tuesday May 8, 2007