Saturday, August 8

Bengoh fest in state’s tourism calendar

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KUCHING: The Bengoh Cultural Carnival will be included in the state’s tourism calendar of event starting next year.

Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datu Ik Pahon Joyik  disclosed this when launching the Bidayuh Gong and Traditional Dance Competition held at Bengoh Resettlement Scheme, Jalan Semadang-Bau yesterday. Commending the efforts made the organiser of the event, he said the ministry was fully committed to support any event that promotes local arts and culture.

“I’m very impressed with tonight’s traditional music and cultural show and we will include it in the state’s annual tourism calendar of event as I believe it can offer travel experience to tourists in the state.

“We will also give a token support in terms of annual grant so that it can be sustained in years to come,” he said.

This competition kicked-off the festival, which is being held for the second year. The competition has attracted over 100 young and old participants from around Puncak Borneo, Padawan, Bau as well as secondary schools and arts institutions.

Ik Pahon, who is also Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president, suggested that the organiser rename the festival in Bidayuh Biatah dialect so that it can be the signature event for the Bidayuh in Puncak Borneo.

On the Bidayuh Gong and Traditional Dance competition, he proposed that the competition be divided into two categories – Original and Creative categories to accommodate both the youths and elders from the community.

He also suggested that the organiser conduct a workshop during the festival to educate the public on the Bidayuh gong and traditional dance.

“This is not just a festival of a life, but also about the preservation, the protection

and the conservation of our very rich cultural heritage. Even today, many of our young people do not anymore know our culture. That is why we must make this as part of our education, rooting our youths to our culture,” he said.

The three-day Bengoh Cultural Carnival being held at Bengoh Resettlement Scheme, Jalan Semadang-Bau, Off Jalan Puncak Borneo, ends today.