Sabah lauds plan to list Kaamatan, Gawai festivals under Cuti-Cuti Malaysia calendar

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah welcomes a proposal to include the Kaamatan and Gawai harvest festival celebrations under the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia programme calendar.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin (pic) said the listing of the harvest festival celebrations (Kaamatan in Sabah and Gawai in Sarawak) as part of Cuti-Cuti Malaysia would definitely bring in more tourists.

Jafry said that it would give an opportunity for people to consider holidays in Sabah during the harvest festivities while also give them an opportunity to observe Sabah's multi-ethnic people and culture.

He believed that the move would also help in preserving the culture and customs of the people while supporting government's efforts to drive the tourism industry especially once the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

The Kaamatan Festival, also known as the Harvest Festival, is a month long celebration of the ethnic Kadazandusun, Murut and Rungus communities in Sabah that begins in May and culminates on May 31. Gawai is celebrated on June1.

In Sabah, various cultural events are held including singing competitions called Sugandoi, crowning of the "Unduk Ngadau" (Beauty Queen), traditional sports as well other arts and handicraft exhibition to mark thanksgiving for a good harvest.

"I am confident that Kaamatan is not just a cultural festival, but also an important product in attracting tourists at home and abroad, as well as further strengthen Sabah's position as a tourism hub".

Apart from being a tourism product, this festival would be a platform in fostering unity not only for the community in Sabah but also the people throughout Malaysia, he said.

He was responding to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri that her ministry had made recommendation that the Kaamatan and Gawai Festival holidays be included as part Cuti-Cuti Malaysia programme.

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