KUCHING: Live performances steeped in Bidayuh tradition and culture will kick off the Bengoh Cultural Carnival (BCC) this coming Friday.
Some 13 cultural groups have confirmed their participation in the Bidayuh Gong Beating and Traditional Dance Competition.
The teams are to be pitted against each other in playing traditional gongs dating back to thousands of years, and other musical instruments made from bamboo and animal skins.
The cultural groups are expected to entertain the crowd with authentic choreographed dances that are rich in Bidayuh folklore.
The competition seeks to improve the preservation of Bidayuh cultural heritage as well as raise awareness among Bidayuh youths of their ancestral cultural practice going back hundreds of years.
Organising chairman Aloysious Kuyong said the competition will begin at 7pm.
He said the 13 teams that had confirmed participation are Kumpulan Kenyalang Tari, Kelab Kebudayaan Kampung Benuk, Goyak Gonuk Singai, Kebudayaan Warisan K1M Opar, Yak Tung Karu, Bung Siburan Heritage, Bung Bajow Gerung, Semadang Cultural Group, BRS Heritage Group, CA Dancers, Kampung Bokah Cultural Group, Kelab Kebudayaan Semban and Land Dayak Cultural Club.
Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youths and Sports, Datu Ik Pahon Joyik will officiate at the competition.
The champion team in the competition will take home RM1,000 cash while the first and second runners-up, RM700 and RM500 respectively. Two consolation prizes will be awarded.
Other activities during the carnival are the Miss Bengoh Beauty Contest, Traditional Games (blowpipe) Competition and new addition, Padawan Idol.
The Miss Bengoh Beauty Contest will be held on July 22 while Padawan Idol, which is a Bidyauh Karaoke Competition, will be held on the last day of the carnival on July 23.
A traditional Bidayuh Gawai house will be erected to display Bidayuh culture and heritage. The Gawai house is expected to be the main crowd puller during the three-day carnival.
Five Kampung Semban ring ladies of world renown will be stationed there to greet visitors and will perform a traditional dance.
There will be a food bazaar with about 40 food and handicraft stalls operating during the three days as well an exhibition by the Malaysian Army.
Held simultaneously with the BCC is the annual Padawan International 4×4 Challenge.