Pesta Kalimaran 2011

April 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

One of the more interesting aspects that makes Malaysia so appealing in the eyes of tourists is the diverse cultures that are still being practised by the people here. Other than the cultural festivals like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya which are celebrated nationwide, there are also other smaller cultural festivals celebrated by indigenous groups in East Malaysia. One such festival is the Kalimaran Fest.

The Kalimaran Fest is an annual cultural event celebrated by the Muruts. This is the perfect opportunity to study the interesting facets that make up the Murut group, as the festival celebrates the richness of their culture. The word ‘Kalimaran’ actually refers to the craftsmanship skills of the people of Murut. The word is made up of two indigenous words, that is ralaa and alimar. Ralaa means young lady and alimar means hardworking and diligent. Legend goes to say that there was once a young lady called Ralaa who was hardworking, diligent and trustworthy. She was to be sacrificed to the gods for the benefit of her community. Before she was sacrificed, she managed to produce many handicrafts using raw materials like bamboo and rattan.

Sabah is home to a number of indigenous groups, including the Kadazan and the Murut

The festival is a good avenue to learn about their traditions such as marriage ceremony and traditional handicrafts. Visitors to this festival will also get the opportunity to sample their traditional food and local drinks such as Tuak, a wine made from fermented rice. Some of the activities lined up for this year’s celebration includes a Lansaran contest, which is a combination of a traditional dance and a form of sport. This dance is performed on a platform made of wood laid out in such a way that it becomes a natural spring. Dancers jump on this platform to reach a target that is placed above them. There will also be a beauty contest, a Murut Songs Composition Contest, drawing contests for primary children, lucky draw as well as exhibitions. Visitors to the festival can also see how some of the traditional handicrafts are made at the handicrafts demonstration and exhibition area.

The celebration is usually a grand affair that involves the whole Murut population in Tenom and is celebrated in April every year. Celebrations this year will be relocated to Tenom town due to the ongoing upgrading works at the Murut Cultural Village. The festival will be held from the 7th till 10th April 2011 at Tenom Town and will start from 9.00 am on the 7th April and 10.00 am for the other exhibition dates. So if you happen to be around the area during these dates, do drop by Tenom town for a memorable time.

For more information, log on to Sabah Cultural Board’s website here.

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