Monday, May 24, 2010

Keeping alive customs of ethnic Dusuns

A dancer clad in traditional Dusun costume performing during the Adau Gayoh celebration.

THE ethnic Dusun community of Mukim Kiudang in Tutong yesterday gathered to celebrate Adau Gayoh, to mark the end of the padi harvesting season and celebrate the spirit of unity.

The festival at Wasai Batu Mapan Recreational Park in Kg Pad Nunok represents Dusuns' way of expressing gratitude for good harvest and brings together people from all walks of life.

Acting Tutong District Officer Hj Suffian Hj Bungsu said that such spirit of goodwill needs to be preserved and maintained to continue efforts in developing the country as the nation is facing global challenges.

"Our customs and traditions are our priceless heritage. No matter how developed and progressive our country is, the customs that we inherit must be practised and continued so that it will not vanish with time," he said.

"Besides an opportunity to uphold the ethnic group's traditions and cultural identity, this festival is also to celebrate the farmers' hard work and joy at the end of harvest, and more importantly to be thankful for the good harvest," he added.

He went on to say that padi planting activities are one of the many resources which could contribute towards the nation's economy and as an activity encouraged by His Majesty's Government in fulfilling national requirements as well as to reduce dependence of imported rice.

It was the first time such a festival was organised at the new recreational park which has been open to the public since 2008.

"Wasai Batu Mapan is a recreational park filled with rich flora and fauna and has recently become a new addition to the various landmarks which exist in the district," said Hj Suffian.

"The collaboration of promoting cultural customs, local village products and this recreational park will hopefully promote the uniqueness of the village and boost ecotourism here," he added.

Organised by the Kg Pad Nunok Village Consultative Council, the festival saw various activities lined up for the young and old.

Throughout the morning, the audience was entertained by young dancers dressed in elegant traditional Dusun costumes, a symbolic gesture in keeping the traditional occasion alive.

Vibrant and colourful cultural performances and traditional songs were staged by performers from Kg Pad Nunok, Kg Batang Mitus and Kg Bukit Udal, as well as invited performers from Limbang, Malaysia.

Adau Gayoh is celebrated every May 1.


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