KOTA KINABALU: The ability of Sabahans to embrace cultural differences should be preserved, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said.
In his Pesta Kaamatan message to the people, he said differences in religion, customs and traditions were not hindrances to unity among the people of the state.
Our unity in diversity is embodied in our fascinating mix of cultures, traditions and religions, (and) is actually a valuable asset that makes us uniquely Malaysians, he said.
He said the Kaamatan harvest festival which Sabah celebrates today was not only a time of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, but was also a celebration that preserved the rich cultural heritage of the Kadazandusun and Murut communities.
These celebrations bring the traditional ritual, dances, colourful costumes and the Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) pageant, which is the essence of Kaamatan that is unique to Sabah, he added.
Musa urged Sabahans to continue the prevailing unity and the long-held traditions of friends and families visiting each other in the true spirit of sharing goodwill and fellowship among all ethnic communities.
A two-day finale celebration beginning today at the grounds of the Hongkod Koisaan cultural hall in Penampang marks the end of the month-long festivities that began in Tambunan on May 1.
Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah will close the celebration tomorrow.