During the month of May, Bumiputeras of Sabah, particularly the Kadazan-Dusun and Murut tribes celebrate a month long of Sabah’s very own, joyous and exciting Harvest Festival (Pesta Kaamatan) in unique traditional ways, such as paying homage to the rice spirits called Bambarayon to show their gratitude for their bountiful harvest.
During the festival, the Sabahan natives put on their traditional attire and enjoy a carnival atmosphere which stretches from the crack of dawn till dusk. The highlights of the festival include the Magavau, a traditional thanksgiving ceremony by the Bohohozan or High Priestess, the Unduk Ngadau, Sungdoi (Kadazan Idol), Arm Wrestling (Mipulos), as well as a host of other traditional sports. In certain occasions, “Tapai” or home-made rice wine is also served as the delicacy for the day, particularly to relatives and closed friends.
Today, the Kaamatan Festival has become one of the major Malaysia national festivals, providing a vital platform for fostering, preserving and inculcating the spirit of harmony, love, empathy, sacrifice, forgivingness through brotherhood, and unity through diversity for the multi-ethnic population particularly of Sabah.
Prof. Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie, (Chairman, SIDMA Board of Directors), kicked off SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah 2015 Annual Harvest Festival Celebration at SIDMA Atrium on 19 May 2015 by bringing Kaamatan cheers in the form of Kaamatan goodies to SIDMA Staff celebrating this auspicious occasion.
The distribution of goodies to staff during festive seasons through SIDMA Staff Welfare Association (PKKKSS) headed by Mr. Zain Azrai, is one of Prof Dr. Morni’s Corporate Social Responsibilities of sharing the company’s good harvest with staff, particularly during national festival seasons such Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Hari Aidil Adha, Tadau Kaamatan, Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Adopting “Peace and Unity Through Culture” (Pibabasan om Pisompuruan Maya Koubasanan) as its celebration theme, Mr. Dean Cassidy Panis (Celebration Chairman), Mr. Budysam Bin Idisamsan as well all the other committee members continued the following day’s celebration (20 May 2015) with various local dances, local traditional songs, and non-stop traditional music to showcase some of Sabah traditional music, dances, foods, and host of traditional games and activities performed by the college staff and students to the various staff and students of the college present during the occasion.
Through such activities, it is hoped that it can not only improved the students social-cultural skills, but more importantly, it enabled them to understand and appreciate more of Sabah cultural diversities and its uniqueness; thus enabled them to understand, accept and tolerate each other better by understanding and nurturing each other point of likeness.
Other highlights of the day’s activities were Mipulos, Unduk Ngadau, Mr Kaamatan SIDMA 2015 Competition participated by both SIDMA staff and students.
Various dance performances were also presented. SIDMA Dance Club, Prima Dansa, initiated the day’s performance with their “Welcoming Dance”. Ms Lesly Dulis and her team also presented their unique “Magunatip” Dance.
Traditional food contest was also held. Staff of the college was given the opportunity to pride their cooking and serving Sabah traditional local food to staff and students.
As appreciation to staff and students who attended the celebration, food and drinks was flowing freely. Lucky draws for students and staff categories were held throughout the day.
Prof Dr. Morni during the launching of the event congratulated the organising team for the well planned and well organised event. He prided the spirit of togetherness that shines brightly among staff and students from various backgrounds working togetherwhenever the college organised similar activities. He hoped that the students will continue practicing the spirit of collaboration and working together with everybody irrespective of the background of their colleagues in whatever and wherever situations these students faced in future.
Dr. Morni who was present throughout the event was given the honour to present token of appreciation to independent judges who were specially invited to assist in judging the various competitions held throughout the day.
He also presented prizes in the form of cash, trophies and hampers to the winners of the various competitions held.
Prof. Dr. Morni also took the opportunity to present tokens of appreciation to three staff with their new born babies. Staff whose birthdays falls in the months of April and May 2015 were joyously celebrated with the birthday “boys” and “girls” up on stage to blow their birthday candles together amidst colleagues and students singing the “Happy Birthday” song.
Also present during the event were Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Encik David Tiongin (Chairman, Board of Directors), Mr. Lim Chin Tong (Registrar), Managers, Heads of Departments, lecturers, staff and students of SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre.
Read more @ http://www.sabah.sidma.edu.my/sidma2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=704:sidma-college-unitar-sabah-kaamatan-cheers&catid=3:latest-news&Itemid=0