KOTA KINABALU: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin lauds the plan to include the Kaamatan and Gawai festivals holidays under the Cuti Cuti Malaysia or the domestic travel campaign.

Jafry (pix) said the Kaamatan festival has the attraction to lure tourists to come and see for themselves the diverse ethnicities and cultural in Sabah.

Through this festival we are able to preserve the tradition and culture for the future generation and also to support the government’s efforts to revive the tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kaamatan Festival is celebrated by the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut as well as other ethnic groups in Sabah on May 30-31 annually at Hongkod Koisaan, Penampang and culminated with the crowning of unduk ngadau (beauty queen), besides sugandoi (singing competition) the night before.

“I am confident that Kaamatan is not just a cultural festival, but also an important product in attracting tourists from home and abroad, as well as further strengthen Sabah’s position as a tourism hub,” Jafry said.

The festival is not only providing a platform to foster unity among the diverse communities in Sabah, but also the people throughout Malaysia.

Jafry was commenting on the statement by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri in welcoming the recommendations that Kaamatan and Gawai harvest festivals be included as major festivals in the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign.

Nancy said although Kaamatan and Gawai are public holidays for the states of Sabah and Sarawak, it was important for people of other states to know and understand the culture and traditions behind these two festivals. -HS

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