A COLOURFUL SHOWCASE OF KAAMATAN
Writer: Chen Xinyu
Editor: Li Zhengxuan
(Group photo of participants during the Kaamatan Festival. Photo by UKMGlobal)
BANGI, 8 June - In a vibrant celebration of Bornean culture, UKMbassador organized a spectacular Kaamatan Festival on June 8 from 8.00 to 10.00pm at Bilik Bankuasi, Chancellery Building.
The event has provided attendees with a captivating insight into the significance and traditions associated with the Kaamatan festival.
The Kaamatan Festival, also known as the Harvest Festival, holds great cultural importance for the Kadazandusun people of Sabah, Borneo. It is a time of gratitude and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, as well as an opportunity to honor the spirits of their ancestors. UKMbassador embraced this rich heritage by hosting an event that not only educated attendees about the festival but also provided a platform for cultural exchange.
“Our goal was to create an immersive experience where people could truly appreciate the beauty and significance of the Kaamatan Festival. We aimed to foster cultural understanding and provide a platform for cross-cultural engagement,” said Harfiz Rasul Mohamad, the event organizer.
The main purpose of the event was to share knowledge and raise awareness about the Kaamatan Festival. The organizers curated an engaging program that highlighted the significance of the festival through various mediums, including informative displays, multimedia presentations, and live performances. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the rituals, customs, and folklore associated with the festival, enriching their understanding of Bornean traditions.
One of the main attractions of the Kaamatan Festival was the array of delicious food tastings available. Visitors had the chance to savor traditional Bornean cuisine, such as hinava (a marinated fish salad) and bambangan (a tangy wild mango pickle). The food stalls were abuzz with activity, providing a gastronomic experience that delighted the senses.
Throughout the evening, the stage came alive with singing, dancing, and handicraft performances, showcasing the diverse talents of the Kadazandusun community. The audience was treated to mesmerizing traditional dances, accompanied by melodious tunes played on traditional musical instruments. Handicraft demonstrations allowed attendees to witness the skilled artistry of Bornean craftsmen firsthand.
“Attending the Kaamatan Festival allowed me to immerse myself in the rich traditions of Malaysia. It was a wonderful way to celebrate diversity and build connections with the local community,” Mohd Thariq Akhyar Sulaiman Sateh, a local student commented.
“As a Bornean, it was heartwarming to see our customs and traditions being honored and appreciated. It's essential to preserve our heritage, and events like this contribute significantly to that cause,” Verolyn, a student from Sarawak said.