Saturday, July 11

Kelabit highlander’s community to hold three-day Bario Food Festival


MIRI: Some 2,000 people are expected to join in the 10th anniversary celebration of the Bario Food Festival or ‘Pesta Nukenan Bario 2015’ this year.

The annual festival on food and culture of the Kelabit highlander’s community will be held in Bario from July 30 to Aug 1.

The event is organised by Rurum Kelabit Sarawak, with support from Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak State Government.

Event committee member Nelson Kebing said this year’s celebration would feature many events and performances.

“In previous years, we recorded a crowd of about 1,000 people. Hopefully, this year we can double the figure through better land access,” he said when contacted yesterday.

“Nukenan celebrates not only the culinary tradition but all that is special and unique about the Kelabit highland and its people.”

“The festival has much to offer, from the wonderful local produce skillfully prepared by local chefs with ingredients not found anywhere else in the world, to taking long walks or trekking tours to the outlying longhouses to experience the warmth and hospitality of the unique longhouses, and of course, to feast on the mouth-watering food,” he explained.

He said for this anniversary, the organising committee expanded the festival to encompass more unique experiences where visitors will get to live and feast in an actual longhouse around the fireplace and get a taste of what life was like in the olden days.

Nelson said when the festival first started a decade ago, one of the main objectives was to recover traditional processing methods of indigenous edible plants and safeguards these local plants and animal varieties.

“It was and still is an event destined to draw the close knit community closer where over the years it has evolved into a festival that celebrates the rich legacy of its traditions and unique way of life,” he said.

Traditional games such as blowpipe competitions, ‘neput ubih’, ‘nebpak apo’, ‘menad ulung’ are held throughout the day as well as traditional line dance and traditional live music performance.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem is expected to launch the Bario festival on July 30.