KOTA KINABALU: A burst of colour and traditional dance and music reverberated around the grounds of the Kadazandusun association as the curtains came down on the month-long Pesta Kaamatan celebrations.
To the beat of gongs, thousands of people took part in the harvest festival celebrations yesterday by joining in the traditional dances and games of the Kadazandusun, Murut and Rungus communities.
Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin attended the celebrations with other state leaders, including Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and his deputy and Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
The celebrations also highlighted several little known distinct traditions of sub-ethnic Kadazandusun groups like the Tidung, Dusun Labuk, Sukang, Kuizau, Murut Tangala, Dumpas, Orang Sungai Kuamut and Orang Dusun Tabilung.
Pairin said the annual celebrations had definitely inspired greater unity among the multi-ethnic Sabahans during the series of events which began on May 1 in Tamparuli at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.
“Our theme this year of cultural understanding and the way forward have been achieved as we have a better understanding of various cultures in Sabah and brought positive impact on the people of different backgrounds,” Pairin said.
He added that the celebrations had further strengthened the bonds of friendship and harmony among Sabahans to transform the state in various development fields.
Musa said Sabah was a good model for 1Malaysia where friendship, understanding and harmony existed among diverse ethnic communities.
“I hope the spirit of the Kaamatan celebrations will continue to inspire and give us strength to be united at all times to ensure stability, peace and progress for the people,” he added.
Musa said the exhibition of Sabah’s traditions and cultures had helped increase tourist arrivals to the state.
He added that tourists arrivals last year was recorded at 2.5 million.
The Kaamatan celebrations came to a close with the crowning of the Unduk Ngadau (Har-vest Queen) by Tun Juhar’s wife Toh Puan Norhalida Jasni last night.
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