Grand Highland folk music, dance festival next year

Jok (third left) presents a sape as memento to Dennis (fourth right) as Charles (third right) and others look on.

MIRI: Sarawak government has a plan to make Long Bedian’s traditional culture-based festival – Sarawak Highland Folk Music and Dance Festival – into a grand event next year.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said this when representing Baram MP Anyi Ngau at the launching of the 4th Sarawak Highland Folks Music and Dance Festival at Long Bedian recently.

“As 2019 would be the tourism year for Sarawak, the state government through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports wants more tourism-related agencies including Pustaka Negeri to be involved in the organising of the festival next year.”

Although not all ethnic groups were able to send their dance teams to the festival this year, many dance troupes from the Kayan, Kelabit and Penan communities participated in the event, Dennis said.

He congratulated the organising committee for making the festival another success this year.

The two-day festival from December 14 was jointly organised by Telang Usan District Office and Long Bedian Sub-District Office in collaboration with Long Bedian’s village security and development committee.

More than 600 people attended the two days of colourful culture-based performances which saw a Penan singer, Jolly Jengan, entertaining the crowd.

Besides entertainment, those who came to the festival had an opportunity to sample local food and drinks and buy souvenirs from the handicraft stall.

Also present were a political secretary to the chief minister Charles Balan Seling and Sarawak administrative officer Ping Anyi, who represented Telang Usan district officer and organising chairman Jok Eng Jok.