KUNDASANG: Pomp and pageantry was the order of the day during the Mountain Music Festival held over the weekend, recently.
The day started with the setting up of stalls selling various products, including souvenir items, and local food and drinks. There was also a booth selling CDs of compiled local songs sung and performed by members of the Walai Tokou Homestay Association in Kundasang.
A group of people, all participants in the event walked about proudly in their traditional costumes while others were garbed in silat (martial arts) costumes. The music from the Kundasang Community Hall was lively adding an attraction to the already colourful event.
Songs and dances as well as music performances were also presented during the duration of the event.
Spokesperson for the event Kohadie Watiman, who was also the advisor of the event said the response to the festival had been tremendous through the years, as the community in Kundasang were aware about the importance of this festival in promoting the area as a tourism destination.
He said when they first started six years ago, the response was lukewarm as there were only 13 homestay participants in his association, named Walai Tokou Homestay Association. The community there were not really keen on participating at that time.
“We persevered and now we have about 50 homestay programme participants and they are all very cooperative and active in all our activities,” he said.
Kohadie who is also the Vice President of Malaysia Homestay Association said there were still many applications to join the association and they were being vetted by the committee before approval.
“Besides our natural environment such as the mountains and the Parks we also have our traditional music where we use the bamboo as our musical instrument. These age old traditional instruments have been ‘upgraded’ through innovations and its music presented in a very creative manne.”
“With our music and our cultural heritage and the nature surrounding us, we are confident that our tourism product is top notch. We are also ready to welcome guests after the earthquake in June this year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Datuk Jaimin Samitah the deputy director of the Sabah Cultural Board when officiating the Mountain Music Festival said such events were commendable as it promoted understanding and rapport among participants while showcasing their tourism products.
He said this also helped to perpetuate the cultural and traditional norm of the society at large.
Also present during the event were District Officer Faimin Kamin and Datuk Amisah Yassin, the Political Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Environment.-Sayangsabah