A Korean fan dance
: Learning one another’s culture.
A sold-out Kaamatan concert pleases the Huguan Siou
Joseph Pairin Kitingan, the Huguan Siou (paramount leader) of Sabah’s indigenous Kadazandusuns and Muruts, is happy. A Kaamatan (harvest festival) concert of native and Korean music and dances played to a 5,000 sold out audience at the hall of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) in Penampang on May 28. It was a culmination of five years of cultural exchanges between Sabahan and South Korean school children. Not only are the Koreans interested in the Kadazandusun and Murut culture but Sabahans who made up almost all of the audience.“I am proud of the performance of our children,” Mr Kitingan said. “They are really talented, creative and innovative. I support this cultural exchange programme because it allows our people and the Koreans to exchange views and learn from one another’s culture.”
Mr Kitingan said the concert was important in promoting the Kadazandusun and Murut culture and the age-old rice farming pursuit as Sabah aims to grow enough food for its 3.5m people.
“We want our children to understand the Kadazandusun culture through music, dances, dramas and songs,” Mr Kitingan said.
: Growing interest from pupils.
The 5,000 tickets to the show were sold at 3 and 5 ringgit (90 cents and $1.50) The International Student Cultural Exchange Programme (Iscep) aimed to raise 25,000 ringgit from them to send 40 form four pupils to South Korea in October for 11 days to learn more of the ways of the Koreans.When the programme began in 2005, Iscep sent 11 pupils of St Peter’s to Seoul. Eighty pupils between 16 and 19 have since visited South Korea on the yearly exchange programme.
Mr Kitingan is pleased to note that the participation of local schools in the concert has doubled to 11. There were 200 school children who sang and danced the Sumazau, a bird-like dance of the Kadazandusuns, and staged a drama about Monsopiad, a Kadazandusun warrior.
Twenty-eight Korean children from two schools in Seoul, Sang Myung High School and Inchang High School, thrilled the audience with their songs, dances and a display of martial arts. They were here for a week from May 22 to 29 to learn more of the Kadazandusuns’ way of life.
Mr Kitingan regretted that they were not able to stay till the Kaamatan’s finale on May 31 because school lessons beckoned the Koreans. – Insight Sabah
– Reported by Jenney Juanis; Pictures by Henry Matakim