The 11th World Harvest Festival, celebrating the harvest festival or “Gawai Dayak”, will be taking place on April 28 to 30 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, with a grand scale of cultural performances both traditional and new.
This year will be including cultural troupes from other regions countries including the Kumpulan Batambul Rungus Matunggong of Sabah and the Nitto Rong Organization of Bangladesh.
The main highlight of the World Harvest Festival remains the themed play, produced and performed by the Sarawak Cultural Village actors and actresses, with this year’s performance entitled “Tra Tra Land: Where Honey Sparkles”, which will take place on April 29.
The finale of the Miss Cultural Harvest Festival also takes place on April 29, while the other days are steeped in traditional food and crafts of the different ethnicities in Sarawak, providing Dayaks and non-Dayaks alike the opportunity to understand the traditions of the old Dayak communities.
The 65-door award-winning longhouse and homesta, Rantau Kemiding, located in the Sibu division in central Sarawak will be expanding their guests’ itinerary to include a Kampung-Stay programme, making it the first of its kind in Sibu.
The difference between a homestay and a kampung stay is that the guests do their own cooking and conduct their own activities, but are free to join activities held within the longhouse as well.
The longhouse has already constructed a two-room chalet with air-conditioner and a few other facilities except a kitchen, which they plan on adding soon.
Last year alone, Rantau Kemiding received a total of 2,784 visitors, 109 of whom were foreign. The arrivals can be attributed to the attractive kampung lifestyle as well as the annual Rantau Kemiding Festival. Though most of the arrivals are day-trippers to the annual Rantau Kemiding Festival, the homestay owners hope to increase the number of overnight visitors through this kampung-stay.
The Rantau Kemiding Homestay is one of the five in Malaysia given the Asean Homestay Standard awards during the award presentation in Singapore this January, along with many other awards such as winning the ‘1 District, 1 Industry’ in Homestay Category in 2016, the Outstanding Hotel and Accommodation Provider (Homestay) Category in Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards in 2015 as well as the the Anugerah Desa Cemerlang for People’s innovation and Participation Category on both state and national level in 2006.
Sarawak has proven that it has the potential to be the location for large scale sports tournaments, both local and international.
The response from sports fans in Sarawak was incredible during the 18th Sukma Games on July 23 to 31 last year, which took place throughout the different cities in Sarawak, as well as the Malaysia Open at Perpaduan Stadium, Petra Jaya, on April 4 to 9, to the point where it impressed legendary badminton players such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan.
The stadium during the Malaysia Open was filled to 85 per cent capacity, surprising Chong Wei, who expressed optimism for the future of badminton events in Sarawak. “The huge crowd augurs well for Sarawak badminton. I hope that more international badminton tournaments can be held in Sarawak,” he added.
“For the first time, I received lots of cheers and applause from spectators outside China,” Lin Dan stated in an interview, as he too was caught by surprise by the great reception the tournament received.
Renovations on the Miri Resident’s and District office building have begun to transform it into a museum.
The project is currently being headed by the Sarawak Museum Department’s curator, Dayang Norzanah Awang Haddy, who has explained that the first and second phases of the project, which are the renovations on the front and back part of the building respectively, are running smoothly.
This museum will be the second in the city, the first being the Miri Petroleum Museum located on top of Canada Hill, which focuses solely on the development of Miri surrounding the petroleum industry.
This will be the first Museum in the city that shows the historical culture, art and heritage of the different races in Miri.
The Biennial Borneo Nash Hash is back in Kuching on April 29 and 30 for any ‘drinkers with a running problem’.
The hash run begins with a drink (though runners can choose water and soda over the traditional beer) and takes off through the hash trail, which could be anything from rainforests and streams to climbing fences and storm drains. ‘Off the beaten path’ doesn’t begin to describe the unique routes during a Borneo Nash Hash.
Hashing began in promoting physical fitness among members, with a controlled element of risk and fun, a sort of bridge between a weekend workout and a Friday happy hour.
Borneo Nash Hash 2017 is the 16th instalment and coincides with the 15th anniversary of the Kota Padawan Hash House Harriers and Harriettes, who will be organizing the run this year.
The “Pesta Kaul”, or the Kaul Festival, will take place at Mukah’s river bank on April 29-30, marking the beginning of the native Melanau’s calendar and the end of the Monsoon season.
Kaul is performed by the previously animistic Melanau community to appease the spirits of the sea, land, forest and farm to ensure safe fishing and farming ensuring good fortune.
The festival begins with the ‘Serahang’ (decorated basket woven from sago leaf which is raised on a bamboo pole) procession, led by community elders, followed by a festival of traditional food, games and entertainment.
One of the more famous traditional games is the “Tibow” or giant swing which calls for everyone to try out, while the traditional food is enjoyed communally, served on a logs for the ‘Keman Baw Bateng’ also known as ‘Makan Beradat’ in Malay.
Four international conferences will be held throughout the state in April catering to a diverse array of professional fields.
Hosted for the academia and specialized industries, these conferences have received encouraging response.
The International Conference on Teaching and Learning Languages (ICTLL 2017) for academia and educators will take place on April 3-4 in Kuching, and the International Conference on Sustainable Soil Management (ICSSM 2017) in the agriculture and development industry will be hosted on April 4-7 in Bintulu.
In Sibu, the Orthopaedic Conference: AO Trauma Combined Basic Principles of Fracture Management for Surgeons and Operating Room Personnel is schedule on April 8-10 while the International Conference on Materials Technology and Energy (ICMTE 2017) takes place in Miri on April 20-21.
While these conferences further develop the understanding and strength of local professionals in their respective fields, it also contribute greatly to the local business events industry, creating awareness of Sarawak’s presence as a destination for international conferences.
Tanjung Datu National Park, Pulau Talang-Talang Besar and Pulau Talang-Talang Kecil will enjoy “green energy” to be generated by Sarawak Electricity Berhad’s (SEB) centralised solar system
A MoU signed to finalise SEB’s commitment in providing the Sarawak Forestry Corporation green energy to the turtle landing sites at the National Park to aid their conservation.
The National Park and the two nearby islands are officially protected turtle nesting sites, as the reefs and beaches are used by the highly endangered Green Turtles and Olive Ridley turtles to lay their eggs. The islands are equipped with a turtle hatchery and research facility.
This is a great boost for environmental tourism, as it takes the National Park one step closer to being an entirely ‘green’ safe haven for endangered flora and fauna as well as conservation tourists.
Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) on March 28.
The Kuching Run for Autism 2017 will be taking place on April 2 in conjunction with World Autism Day at the Kuching South City Council office. The 3km and 7km courses begin at 6.30am.
This will be second edition of this run, with over 2,000 participants registered in 2016.
With the theme “It’s not a disability, it’s a different ability”, the Kuching Autism Association (KAA) is organising this event seek to create understanding and acceptance of Autistic children and adults within the local communities.
The KAA provides educational programmes that help students with fine motor skills, basic academia, social skills and self-help to help them gain independence, as well as pre-vocational training in preparing them for working in the future.