Belaga Regatta returns this August 4-6

A photo of a paddle boat team during the 2018 Belaga Regatta. Photo courtesy: Bidah Lujah

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, March 25: The biennial Belaga Regatta returns this year, with its commencement expected to take place at Sungai Belaga Waterfront from Aug 4 to 6.

Formerly known as Belaga Rainforest Challenge, the Belaga Regatta was first organised in 2012, followed by its subsequent editions in 2014 and 2016, and the last one was in 2018.

Bidah Lujah

According to Belaga district officer Bidah Lujah, the festival will showcase the rich cultural heritage of all ethnic groups in Belaga, especially the Orang Ulu, such as the Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Kajang, and Berawan.

“Belaga Regatta would feature water sports, namely, lumba perahu kayuh (paddle boat race) and speedboat race; cultural performances such as ‘kesut’ competition, suwey competition, sape competition and poco-poco; a bazaar of 40 to 50 stalls; traditional ‘pondok’ (hut) exhibitions; traditional games such as payu usu (arm wrestling) and sumpit (blow dart); and many more,” she told DayakDaily when contacted yesterday.

Nevertheless, she stressed that preparations are still ongoing.

A photo of beautiful ladies during ‘Ratu Belaga Regatta 2018’. Photo courtesy: Bidah Lujah

“The Belaga Regatta is a platform for us to introduce Belaga to outside communities. It is known that Belaga is a district of Orang Ulu, and we have over 10 ethnicities that have their respective cultures, dances and food.

“Secondly, Belaga itself was known to be a regatta powerhouse back in the old days, so we want to revive this spirit. Even in other paddle boat races in other places, some of the champions came from Belaga too,” she added.

Bidah also shared her excitement about hosting the ‘Ratu Kebaya’ competition, which would allow married women to participate in the pageant as an out-of-ordinary event during the upcoming Belaga Regatta. — DayakDaily