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Presence of MP adds to festive air at Penampang harvest festival


19 May 2024

By AVV


PENAMPANG: The Penampang harvest festival celebration held at the Padang near the Cultural House here was a vibrant and joyous occasion, filled with a festive air that enveloped all who attended.


The celebrants thronged to the event grounds, eager to partake in the traditional festivities and immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the region.


They were especially excited to meet with the Penampang Member of Parliament Datuk Ewon Benedick who visited the booths around the Padang.


Revellers met were all in agreement that it was an apt way to celebrate the end of harvest.


Baxter Datuk Sibidol from Kg Tanaki, Penampang, who has been traveling overseas for work, believes that holding the event at the Padang or field is a wonderful idea as it evokes a sense of nostalgia for the olden times.


"I'm certain that our ancestors used to celebrate in open spaces like this," he expressed, emphasizing that events where booths are set up in the field should be an annual tradition, providing an opportunity for people to reunite and reconnect with friends they may not have seen in some time.


Baxter, a returning Sabahan said this should be held annually in conjunction with the harvest festival.


Christine R Amandus of Kg Dungkahang Penampang was involved in the booths where they showcased and sold food and drinks.


"To hold this event in the Padang is a good idea as people have more space to move around as opposed to it being held in the Dewan," she enthused.


"I think more vendors also benefit due to vast space thereby making it conducive for buyers to buy without being squeezed around limited space."


She agreed that it should be held yearly with more promotions by the organisors so the announcement is far reaching.


For Nelson Maison Malon who hails from Kg Tampasak Babagon the harvest festival is an annual event that should not be forgotten and should be celebrated in any way.


"The celebration on the field is good but the crowd is not as good as last year," he said adding that out there were similar events in other areas, that divided the crowds.


For Chang You Sang, a Chinese Community leader, the harvest festival is a celebration that he enjoys tremendously.


"We are Sabahans. We celebrate all the festivals in Sabah, together. The celebration whether on the field or in the hall, is no difference. We enjoy it together," he said, smiling happily.


For him, the harvest festival is not just a celebration of a harvest but also a joyous occasion to commemorate a successful year.


Mike Ogust Paulus, the Village Development and Security Chairman of Kg Putaton, the harvest festival held at the Padang was appropriate as it gave vendors the opportunity to earn extra income and for the people to showcase their food and drinks.


According to him, it allowed people to come together and celebrate the occasion while interacting with one another.


"The presence of the YB also add to the celebratory air," he said refering to the presence of Datuk Ewon Benedick who is also the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative.


Seven regions participated in the booths showcasing traditional food and drinks. They comprise of five from Moyog Constituency and two from Kapayan constitutuency. Fifteen were from Government agencies


So the celebration continued with the traditional food showcase, where a tantalising array of local delicacies was on sale . The aroma of grilled meats, aromatic rice dishes, and sweet desserts wafted through the air, tempting the taste buds of all those present.


In addition to indulging in the delectable food offerings, celebrants also engaged in traditional sports and competitions that added to the festive atmosphere. Arm wrestling matches pitted strength against strength, while sling shot competitions tested participants' aim and precision. The blowpipe competition, where contestants aimed to shoot at targets with remarkable accuracy, showcased the precision and skill of the local marksmen.

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