BAU (Sarawak): MAY 1 is an anticipated date for the Bidayuh community as this is the day they celebrate the Bung Bratak Day.
The annual event, colourful and packed with cultural performances is celebrated at the summit of the 300m Bung Bratak near Kampung Tembawang Sauh here, about 52km from Kuching. Bung Bratak Day advisor Datuk Peter Minos said this year’s event had different activities such as an early-morning jogathon to the summit with villagers taking part.
There was also the sale of traditional Bidayuh food and drinks. Bung Bratak Day 2009 was hosted by five of the 30 Jagoi-Bratak villages in Bau and Lundu districts.
It attracted more than 3,000 visitors who climbed up the Bratak hill (“bung” is Bidayuh for hill) for the festivities.
They were entertained by traditional dances from various Bidayuh villages, a gong-striking competition and a beauty pageant.
The event also honoured outstanding members of the community.
They included Pandelela Rinong, the first Bidayuh Olympian who competed in the diving event at the Beijing Olympics last year.
Pandelela’s father received the award on her behalf from Minos as she is still studying at the Bukit Jalil Sports School in Kuala Lumpur.
According to Minos, Bung Bratak Day commemorates Bidayuh ancestors who once lived on this hill-top settlement besides celebrating Bidayuh roots, history and culture.
He hoped the state tourism authorities and the Bau District Council would promote Bung Bratak as a historical site for local and foreign visitors.
“We would like Bung Bratak to be among the best historical tourism sites in Sarawak,” he added.
He later accompanied Opar assemblyman Ranum Mina to give away prizes to winners in the traditional games held during the event.
Also present at the festival were all Bidayuh community headmen from more than 30 villages.