Forgotten Panawari Festival revived

Kurup launching the Panawari Festival in Nabawan yesterday.

NABAWAN: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup described the Panawari Festival as nostalgic, bringing back the glory of this celebration that had been forgotten over the past 50 years.

He believed this festival could unite the people from all over Pensiangan to jointly gather, celebrate and participate in the activities organized by this festival.

“I have learnt that as many as 30 kinds of traditional sports held during this festival are associated with this festival, among others the tug of war, blowpipe, climbing the slippery pole, pillow fights and many others,” he said when opening the district-level Panawari Festival here yesterday.

Kurup expressed hope that the traditional sports be maintained as they represent the identity of the people of this area.

He said it was very important that traditional sports be preserved for  the future generations.

The Pensiangan member of parliament  also suggested that the next Panawari celebration should introduce a buffalo race because  the uniqueness of this sport could attract tourists locally and abroad.

He also believed that through this festival, villagers, especially farmers, can market their agricultural produce and handicraft to increase their income.

Meanwhile, he told reporters during the event that Panawari  existed a long time ago but had been forgotten.

“I feel proud of the efforts of the organizing committee of this festival  to revive the Panawari where this kind of celebration can gather all the people and also shows the unity in this area.

Asked whether the Panawari celebration could be included in the Pensiangan tourism calendar, Kurup said: “We will see. This is still under study and we can include it in the tourism calendar but let us review first so the study can be used as a basis to attract more tourists to come here, “he said.

More than 5,000 people including the District Officer who is also the chairman of state level Panawari and Kaamatan Festival celebrations attended the event.

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