Cross-cultural collaboration vital to regional tourism — Abdul Karim

The publicity poster for Budayaw Festival 2019.

KUCHING, Nov 19: Joint programmes and collaborations between BIMP-EAGA counterparts can help to increase better understanding and mutual respect as well as promote regional tourism industries within and out of the sub-region.

Speaking at the launch of the Budayaw Festival today, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said over the years, the Sarawak government has fully supported the organising of inter-cultural events simply because it provides good avenues for all to meet and showcase the uniqueness of different cultures, traditions and practices among people from different countries and backgrounds.

Welcoming some 360 delegates from Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Northern Territory of Australia (BIMP-EAGA Development Partner) to the 2nd BIMP-EAGA Budayaw Festival, Abdul Karim also welcomed the delegates of the BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials and Ministerial Meeting which is also being held in Kuching.

The capital city is also hosting this year’s 25th BIMP-EAGA Anniversary celebration.

“We are currently having our “Visit Sarawak Campaign” with the tagline “More to Discover’ and that is why the state government of Sarawak through my ministry and Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) are actively promoting our culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals which are the mainstays of our local tourism industry.

“This year’s Budayaw Festival is also a good avenue for our local cultural advocates, artisans and craftsmen to gather with their peers from other countries and all of the participants are enabled to have sharing sessions as well as discussions on relevant topics, ideas and issues that are related to them in one way of another,” Abdul Karim said in his speech, according to a press statement.

It was understood that the delegates of this year’s Budayaw Festival will visit Kota Samarahan to interact with the local community and experience for themselves the rich arts, culture and lifestyle of Sarawak, the Land of the Hornbills.

“Apart from that, I do hope you will take some time to explore other parts of Sarawak where there are many world renown tourist attractions such as the Mulu Caves and Niah Caves which have been recognised by UNESCO as rare heritage sites,” Abdul Karim added.

The Budayaw Festival is a celebration of arts and culture of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The signature BIMP-EAGA event is held every two years and hosted by a selected member-state each time.

The five-day festival which is being held from Nov 19 to 23, features various lectures, workshops, performances, shows, exhibits, and other events at Plaza Merdeka, Waterfront Hotel and The Old Courthouse.

During the festival, participants will witness the iconic markers of the region through interactive exhibitions.

Visual artists and craftsmen will display their art installations and perform their crafts and works of art before the crowds. — DayakDaily