Saturday, August 24

Riot of colour and culture expected at Baram Regatta

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MIRI: Marudi will be a riot of colour and culture when the people of the Baram Basin don traditional costumes to showcase their rich cultural heritage in Baram Regatta 2011.

The historic regatta dating back over a century was a peace-making event to mark the end of tribal wars and headhunting.

Organising chairman Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran, who is also Assistant Minister of Public Utilities (Water Supplies) and Marudi assemblyman said the Baram Regatta would be an opportunity to showcase the cultural uniqueness of the people.

“I call on the people of Baram – Orang Ulu, Chinese, Iban, Malay and other communities – to come deck out in their traditional costumes  on Oct 1-2 as this is the time to showcase our ethnicity and identity,” he said.

The carnival-like atmosphere will descend on Marudi, also known as Claude Town in the colonial days.

The carnival kicks off with the Baram Idol singing competition at Marudi town square on Oct 28; the semi-finals will be held the following night together with the finals of the sape competition.

Miss Baram Beauty Contest preliminary rounds will kick off on Sept 30 while Baram Idol champion would be decided the same night from the seven finalists in the 1Malaysia Cultural Nite programe.

The remote controlled boat competition and trade expo would be held during the day.

On Oct 1 morning, Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Mohamad Salahuddin will officiate at the opening of the 104th edition of the Baram Regatta as paddlers battle for glory in the Baram River.

The 1Malaysia Cultural Night will be graced by Salahuddin and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the latter expected to deliver a keynote address at the function which will also see the crowing of Miss Baram 2011.

The Baram Regatta will see Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on the final day on Oct 2. He is expected to fly to
Marudi where a warm welcome awaits.

He would later inspect a decorative boat parade and boat paddling races and flag off the  HRH Challenge Trophy race which makes its debut in the Baram Regatta, adding his royal mark to this historical
event.

Meanwhile, the title of King of Baram River will be up for grabs in the later part of the final day when champions vie for the ultimate honour and bragging rights of being crowned Champion of Champions in the mother of all regattas in Sarawak.

Also expected are Salahuddin’s wife Toh Puan Norkiah, Taib’s wife Puan Sri Ragad Alkurdi Taib and senior state cabinet ministers.