Vibrant procession: Costumed dancers participating in the parade in downtown Kota Kinabalu.
KOTA KINABALU: The city’s downtown was awash in brilliant colours of many nations as hundreds of participants of the 9th Sabah International Folklore Festival took to the streets.
It was an awesome sight for the bystanders as dancers from as far as Kazakhstan and Ghana, among other places including the Philippines and Malaysia, marched nearly 1km in their traditional costumes to Lintasan Deosaka, where they gave brief performances for the crowd.
The event yesterday kicked off a week of rhythms and diversity of the world’s folk dances here in the city.
The festival is an annual effort to promote peace and understanding through cultural means as dance troupes from around the world gather in the Land Below the Wind to showcase their unique folk dances.
The premier show will be launched by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at the Sabah Cultural Centre on Thursday.
The highlight of the festival is the International Folk Dance Competition on Friday and Saturday, where participating dance troupes will compete for the title of champion.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said teams from a total of 11 nations would be vying for the top spot in the dance competition.
“Participants were selected based on the quality and uniqueness of their performances. It has to be something we rarely see,” he said.
Besides the international showcase, there will also be a local folkdance competition as well as a Sabah food and handicraft exhibition.
The events are ongoing at Menara Tun Mustapha here until Saturday.