Keeping Sabah folklore alive

Preserving heritage: Fariza (right) showing her book to Masidi while Bangkuai looks on.

KOTA KINABALU: A local Sabahan decided to put all those bedtime stories from her grandmother into writing and has successfully published her first children’s book.

The author Fariza Sakina Farish launched her interactive children’s book – titled A Tale from Tuaran: Tales for Our Tiny Tribes – during the two-day state-level Kaamatan festival at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Sabah grounds in Penampang, near here.

The writer said the book includes captivating illustrations that accompany the enchanting folklore shared by her grandmother.

“Through this publication, I hope to inspire children and adults alike to appreciate and cherish our unique culture,” she said.

Fariza’s passion for storytelling extends beyond Tuaran as she envisions writing more children’s books based on different districts, thus ensuring that the diverse narratives of Sabah are brought to light and cherished.

She said this is one way to pass on tales of the past to children by allowing them to not only read the stories, but to also take part in the various activities in the book that can help them better remember and understand the tales within.

Her book caught the attention of not only visitors to KDCA, but also notable state leaders such as Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and State Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Bangkuai, who is also Sabah Tourism Board chairman, commended Fariza on her commitment to uplifting local tales through storytelling.

“By preserving and sharing our cultural heritage, we ensure its continuity for future generations.

“I urge young individuals to take inspiration from Fariza’s work and contribute to preserving and promoting our local folklore.“Through her efforts, she not only introduces young readers to the captivating tales from the many ethnic groups but inspires them to explore and appreciate their cultural roots,” he said.

Fariza has committed to giving 10% of proceeds from sales of the book towards supporting the Seratu Aatai’s Borneo pygmy elephant conservation efforts.

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