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Kaamatan focus on forgotten dances this time
Published on: Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: The State-level Kaamatan Committee will showcase to the people never-seen-before cultural items, if any, during the Harvest Festival on May 30-31 at the Hongkod Koisaan Hall.

Its Chairman, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister, said he has given instructions that if there were cultural dances of the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDMs) community that have never been seen before these should be showcased during the Kaamatan.

Cultural items also include old songs that have artistic value, he said.

"So, if we discover this, we will showcase it to the people," he told reporters after chairing the Kaamatan Committee meeting on Tuesday.

On other developments, he said Tuaran would be hosting the State-level Kaamatan Festival this year.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman would be launching the Kaamatan at Dewan Tun Hamdan in Tamparuli on May 1.

Following that, he said the various districts would be celebrating the Kaamatan on different dates.

Klang Valley, Beluran, Telupid, Paitan and Semporna would be celebrating it on May 7 while Kudat on May 10 and Matunggong and Tongod on May 12. The Kaamatan Carnival in Kota Kinabalu would be held from May 11-13.

Pagalungan would celebrate the Kaamatan on May 13 while Beaufort would celebrate it at the same time the Pesta Bengkoka is held from May 13-15.

Pairin said Penampang, Lahad Datu, Putatan and Kemabong would be celebrating the Kaamatan on May 14 while Sook, Tenom, Kota Belud and Membakut on May 15 and Banggi on May 18.

Tambunan, Ranau, Kunak and Kota Marudu would be having their Kaamatan on May 21 while Kuala Penyu, Menumbok and Keningau on May 22 and Sipitang on May 25.

He said Head of State, Datuk Seri Panglima Juhar Mahiruddin would be officiating at the closing of the Harvest Festival on May 31.

"The Chief Minister would also be officiating at the traditional sports on May 30," he said.

Meanwhile, Pairin said the committee is still mulling the theme for the Kaamatan this year.

He said it would be related to the celebration, its meaning and cultural identity in the context of creation of understanding.

The Kaamatan like other festivals, he said, is important in the efforts to achieve the 1Malaysia concept as well as to enhance the tourism industry.

"The Harvest Festival is also our contribution towards educating as well as creating awareness on cultural preservation and continuity among the younger generation," he said.

Culture, he said, strengthens family ties in a society.

He welcomed contributions from corporations and companies to ensure the celebration of the Kaamatan would be merrier and more meaningful.

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