Monday, February 24

Kaamatan celebration launched


KOTA MARUDU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman has called on the people to make use of the Kaamatan festive month to promote peace and strengthen racial ties.

Officiating at the launch of State level Kaamatan here, he said all Sabahans should take the opportunity to join their brothers and sisters from the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) Community not just to celebrate the one-month long Harvest Festival but also spread cultural harmony.

“Every one must take this event as a platform to better understand each other so that they could better protect the racial harmony that has long been nurtured among different ethnic groups in Sabah.

“Like other cultural events, Kaamatan is relevant and vital to nurture understanding as well as respect for one’s culture and belief,” he said, adding that the State Government would continue to support cultural events for this purpose.

Thousands of people from far and near thronged Kota Marudu yesterday to join their state leaders in welcoming the annual May Harvest Festival.

Among those present included Deputy Chief Minister and Huguan Siou (paramount leader of the KDM community) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister cum Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili.

The Chief Minister said the State Government had agreed to rotate the hosting of Kaamatan’s opening between all districts to allow people from across the State to have the highly anticipated event at their home town.

He added this was also to encourage all Sabah leaders to go to the ground and meet the people.

Musa, who is also the State Barisan Nasional liaison chairman, also appealed to the people of Sabah to continue their strong support towards the coalition, saying that the BN-government had proven its capability in bringing about development, peace and harmony to the country.

Kaamatan or Harvest Festival is celebrated from May 1 to the end of month every year to honour the paddy spirit.

The festival’s main attraction for many is the Unduk Ngadau (beauty pageant), which is held as a symbolic event to honour Huminodun, who according to KDM legend, had sacrificed herself to end a long drought and give her people bountiful crops.

There are also other attractions such as traditional sports, Sugandoi (native language for singing contest) and sale of traditional handicrafts and items.

The State-level Kaamatan finale is held on May 30 and 31 at the Hongkod Koisaan Hall in Penampang, where more than 30 young beauties representing their respective districts will vie for State Unduk Ngadau title.