Kaamatan open house to feature rare and unique dishes


KOTA KINABALU: From bosou (fermented fish) to bambangan (pickled wild mango), an open house to mark the harvest festival will feature dishes unique to the local communities here.

The gastronomic feast on May 26 will see representatives from over 50 ethnic groups coming together to prepare traditional dishes at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) compound in Penampang.

Festival coordinator Kenny Chua said the open house – Moginakan Kaamatan – would feature rarer types of food prepared by those in more remote regions of Sabah.

Visitors could also sample other traditional food including the famed hinava (raw fish salad) and tuhau (pickled wild ginger) at the open house.

“We have never had a Kaamatan open house as far as I know, so the organising committee decided to come up with something different,” Chua, who is also state assistant finance minister, told reporters yesterday.

He said those preparing the food would be cooking more than 20 types of traditional dishes unique to their own districts or villages, some deep in the interiors of Sabah.

There will also be dance and song performances portraying the rich cultures of Sabah.

“We want to know each other’s cultural practices and beliefs better to enhance our understanding of each other,” Chua said.

There will also be a larger space for Kaamatan to accommodate new exhibits of traditional houses and structures not well known by the public.

Each year, the KDCA grounds will open in mid-May for food and drink bazaars, as well as sales of handicrafts and other items.

For the event his year, the KDCA will open on May 11 to kickstart these programmes.

Chua said the peak of the festival would see beauty pageant contestants vying for the Unduk Ngadau (harvest queen) title on May 30 and 31.

There will also be traditional sports and games for visitors. He advised visitors to come to KDCA by taxis or other e-hailing services to avoid parking problems.

Kaamatan