World Harvest Festival is back with music, food and pageantry
By Jude Toyat
The annual World Harvest Festival (WHF) this year hopes to attract more than 10,000 festival goers.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said that the number of visitors will increase following the Hong Kong-Kuching-Hong Kong flight that will begin its operation in April 26.
“The festival has successfully attracted more than 7,000 visitors last year.
“I believe, with the availability of the flight, it will provide greater accessibility for our friends from Hong Kong to come and participate in the festival this year thus increasing the total number of visitors at the World Harvest Festival,” he said in a press conference held here recently.
The WHF aims to celebrate the diversity of the different ethnic groups of Sarawak and to help both the locals and foreigners enhance their understanding of other cultures in the world.
“This festival is also organised to create a colourful and vibrant ethnic festival as a prelude to the state-wide Gawai Dayak celebration that will be celebrated from the eve and end of June every year.
“It is an ideal place for the people of different background to meet, discuss and compare notes on traditional cultures through the exchange of ideas, portrayal of dances, music, arts and crafts,” Abang Johari added of the event to take place from April 29 to May 1.
Visitors at the festival will be able to discover something new of other cultures and at the same time appreciate their own cultural heritage.
Among the highlights of the three-day festival include a theme play entitled ‘Dayang Bulan – The Moon Princess’ that tells a story based on a Kelabit legend.
The play introduces Dayang Bulan as the daughter of the Moon King who came to earth. She possessed magical wings that carry her to earth and it was said that she is the mother of the legendary Agan Tadun of Kelabit folklore. The theme play written by Datin Nikki Lugun based on a tale told by Tinggang Trang will be staged at Sarawak Cultural Village on May 1.
Apart from the theme play, other attractions at the festival include the Miss Cultural Harvest Festival (CHF) 2016 that will see 15 finalists vying for the title.
“This year, the finalists will be presenting their talents, grace and beauty in colourful traditional Orang Ulu costumes and accessories.
“The grand final of the beauty pageant competition will be held on May 1, and prior to that there will be the Miss Talent CHF 2016 to be held on April 29,” said Sarawak Cultural Village general manager Jane Lian Labang.
For men who love to showcase their strengths, the Ironman World Harvest Festival 2016 competition will put 15 finalists through various tasks to test their skills and strengths.
“The activities designed for the Ironman competition include lifting gunny sacks weighing around 50kg, climb Mount Santubong, blowpipe shooting, coconut dehusking with bare hands and other competitive activities throughout the 3-day festival,” Jane added.
Food enthusiasts will not be disappointed during the festival as there will also be a Sarawak Kitchen Food Culinary competition open to participants of any nationality.
“This also gives our visitors an opportunity to try out some interesting indigenous food of Sarawak and participate in the cooking competition throughout the three-day event,” said Jane, adding that the entry form can be obtained from the official WHF website and Facebook page.
Meanwhile, for Sape enthusiasts, there will be a Sape concert staged on the night of April 30 in the SCV theatre and will witness performances by Sape professionals and amateurs from Sarawak.
Also, in conjunction with the WHF 2016, there will be a Gawai Village Stay Tourism Package whereby guests will have the opportunity to experience, learn and participate in all the cultural activities of the ethnic people of Sarawak.
“This package is crafted for short-term visitors to experience and to encourage them to venture further into the remote villages of Sarawak upon their next trip.
“This special package will start from April 29 to June 4,” Jane explained.
Organised by Sarawak Cultural Village, the WHF 2016 is supported by the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak, Tourism Malaysia Sarawak, National Department of Culture and Arts (JKKN) Sarawak, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Sarawak Tourism Board.
The various highlights of the WHF 2016 are also supported by sponsors such as Segi College, Getaway Global Marketing, Riverside Majestic Hotel, Grand Margherita Hotel, Damai Beach Resort, Riverside Shopping Complex, Dzarea Beauty, Metrojaya Cityone, Zmile of Darra Beauty Zone, Eyesight Optic, Piqasa Studio, Milo, and Maggie.
“It is hoped that many people from all walks of life will enjoy the festival as it promises a glimpse of history, a taste of tradition and certainly a sight of internationally awarded performances for everyone,” Jane added.
Entrance tickets are on sale at the Sarawak Cultural Village and priced at RM60 (adult) and RM30 (children).
For more information and booking requirements, contact SCV at 082-826108, 082-826411, 082-846988 (fax), or [email protected] Alternatively, visit www.scv.com.my or search for ‘World Harvest Festival’ on Facebook.
Also present at the press conference were Tourism Sarawak assistant minister and SEDC chairman Datuk Talib Zulpilip, and SEDC deputy general manager Edwin Abit.