Borneo Cultural Festival dazzles with parade of traditions

Tiong (seventh right), Hii (third right) and others officiating at the Chinese Pavilion at BCF 2016.

Tiong (seventh right), Hii (third right) and others officiating at the Chinese Pavilion at BCF 2016.

SIBU: The Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) 2016 burst into full colour on Thursday night, dazzling visitors from afar and near with the rich culture and traditions of the diverse ethnic groups in the state.

The curtain-raiser was a colourful parade by the four pavilions, namely Chinese, Dayak, Malay/Melanau and Youth.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King and Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee joined the parade. Each pavilion showcased its own programmes to glue the crowd to the stage. The BCF 2016 which started on Thursday will end on July 30.

At the Malay/Melanau pavilion, the Malay Union Club (MUC) and ‘Melayu-Melanau Bersatu’ (MMB) jointly staged their programmes.

The topics for their performance were ‘Melestari Tradisi Melayu’ and Malay traditional wedding.Other traditional performances included ‘bermukun’ and silat demonstration showcasing ‘Helang Putih Perkasa’.

The pavilion working committee chairman Ibrahim Laili and his team even braved the rains to ensure the programme would run smoothly.

“We are giving more emphasis on traditional performances as compared to previous years,” explained Ibrahim.

Over at the Dayak pavilion, crowds including foreign visitors were glued to the offerings on the stage with unique traditions including a blowpipe demonstration. Among distinguished visitors present were Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu branch chairman Chambai Lindong and vice-chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai.

Meanwhile, Tiong officiated at the opening of the Chinese pavilion, where folk dance and an eating competition were slotted in to keep the crowd on their feet. He later also officiated at University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS).

At the Youth pavilion, a group called ‘PowerTive’ enchanted the crowd with their energetic dancing and singing. There were also many electrifying stage performances to woo the younger segments in the crowd.

Food stalls were aplenty for a wide spread of mouth-watering delicacies. A trade exhibition was scheduled at Sibu Town Square Phase 2.