Tuesday, October 26

Petronas shares rich cultural heritage of Kaamatan and Gawai


Norliza Kamaruddin (centre) and MASwings CEO Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang (second from left) enjoy a performance of traditional musical instruments at the launch of Petronas 2014 Kaamatan and Gawai festive campaign in Kuala Lumpur. Also seen are Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Datuk Rashid Khan (fifth right) and Petronas Sabah and Labuan Regional Office general manager Julita Ontol (fourth right).

Students from Sabah and Sarawak having enjoyable moments at the Skybridge and Observation Deck of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

KUCHING: Pesta Kaamatan and Gawai Dayak are two important festivals that celebrate and honour Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage and ancient traditions.

This year, Petronas is continuing its efforts to make these two harvest festivals, respectively celebrated by various communities in Sabah and Sarawak, better understood and appreciated by all Malaysians from all walks of life and across all generations.

A special webfilm produced by Petronas that brings to life the rich culture and rituals of Pesta Kaamatan and Gawai will be aired from May 26 on television and Petronas’ official YouTube channel, it said in a press statement issued yesterday.

“The awareness campaign for Pesta Kaamatan and Gawai is Petronas’ contribution to enhance understanding of this rich component of Malaysia’s cultural heritage to promote better social cohesion in the country,” said its Group Strategic Communications senior general manager Norliza Kamaruddin.

“Our special webfilm not
only captures the essence of Kaamatan and Gawai but reminds us to reflect on our past while
we continue to strive for an improved future,” she added.

Norliza was speaking in Kuala Lumpur at the launch of Petronas 2014 Kaamatan and Gawai festive campaign yesterday where the webfilm, produced to support the campaign, was screened.

Apart from the webfilm, the campaign will be further augmented by a series of on-ground activities.

In collaboration with community airline MASwings, Petrosains and Galeri Petronas, Petronas brought primary and secondary school students from Sabah and Sarawak to the Klang Valley for three days of adventure and fun-filled activities designed to expand their horizon and open their minds.

The students listened to a special motivational talk, had a rare opportunity to visit MAS Catering Services, toured the Petronas Twin Towers and spent an activity-filled evening at Petrosains.

Meanwhile in East Malaysia, Petronas will get into the spirit of Kaamatan and Gawai through its Sentuhan Kasih community project which celebrates as well as channels assistance to underprivileged communities during the festive period.

Petronas volunteers will work alongside local communities in Papar, Bintulu and Miri to carry out repairs and gotong-royong activities, which include sprucing up longhouses to prepare for the celebrations.

In addition, rural communities and hardcore poor families will receive contributions in the form of basic necessities such as rice, water tanks, gas stoves, gas cylinders, vitamins and food aid to help make their celebration of the festival more meaningful.

The Kaamatan festival is celebrated annually by the Kadazandusun community in Sabah to give thanks for a bountiful harvest with the offering of prayers for a better harvest in the coming year.

In Sarawak, the Gawai harvest festival involves ancient rituals, traditional rites and ancestral worship to celebrate the end of the harvest season and usher in another year of bountiful goodness. It is celebrated by the Dayak community, which includes the Iban, Bidayuh, Kayan,
Kelabit, Murut and Orang Ulu communities in Sarawak.