I write this out of great disappointment with the Harvest Festival at the KDCA grounds this year.
In the past, I would go to the KDCA to enjoy the harvest festival atmosphere where the exhibitions would really represent the agricultural background of the event.
There would be plenty of beautiful costumes, agricultural products, handicrafts, books and literatures in local languages, traditional food and drinks for sale in most stalls and of course the traditional sporting events and music with traditional instruments.
However, this year there seemed to be only one theme in ALL the stalls and even at the traditional houses representing several districts. And the theme is simply 'BEER & STOUT' with karaokes or programmed keyboard music to encourage you to drink until drunk.
For 'Pusas' to help you down more beers, you are offered smoky barbecued pork, lamb chops, beef satay and low class fish, even the hinava is prepared using cheap vinegars instead of natural citric fruits. The barbecued chicken wings or pronounced as 'Sicken Wings' and barbecued fish all seemed to be philipino style.
Totally missing are all the traditional food especially the vegies and traditional drinks except for one 'orang putih' who is the only one selling 'lihing' which was of reasonable quality!
The locals do not know how to make them any longer.. ha ha ha
I am told that the stall operators have to maximise their sales of westernised drinks in order to make up for the high rentals of the stall, but the overall effect is that the original concept and celebration of harvesting is all gone.
After all in Penampang district, there is hardly any harvest of anything when the padi fields have long disappeared after being filled up with red clay to make way for buildings, shops, housing and all other things 'modern'.
The only left to remind you of the agricultural past are two half size concrete buffaloes at the entrance of the KDCA building!
Well, if this is the price we have to pay for so-called 'development' then at least what the state government and the KDCA should do is simply stop the misrepresentation of the festival.
I strongly request the government of Musa Aman together with the Leadership of Huguan Siou, Pairin Kitingan to rename the festival as 'Beer Stout Karaoke Magauk Aramai Tii Festival' so that we wont be accused of false advertisement in our Tourism Brochures.
Keeehoi And Aramai Tiii!