Dr Abdul Rahman: Incorporate Nuba Laya Festival into Sarawak Tourism Calendar to showcase Lun Bawang culture

(From left) Superi, Dr Abdul Rahman, Frederick, and Dolphina showing the “Nuba Laya” at the launching of the inaugural Nuba Laya Festival in Limbang on Saturday (June 25, 2022). Photo credit: Ukas

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KUCHING, June 29: The incorporation of the Nuba Laya Festival on the calendar of the Limbang Main Festivals Committee will highlight the uniqueness of the Lun Bawang people and their culture, says Deputy Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development (Modernisation of Agriculture) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail.

According to a news report today by the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas), Dr Abdul Rahman pointed out that the Nuba Laya Festival is part of the State government’s plans to preserve the culture and customs of the Lun Bawang community while also developing the tourism sector in Sarawak, particularly in the Limbang district.

“It is necessary to emphasise to the outside community that Malaysia is a multiracial country where people of different races, ethnicities, descents, cultures, and religions coexist peacefully, with no inter-racial conflict,” he said.

He made this statement while officiating at the Nuba Laya Festival organised by the Lun Bawang Sarawak Association (PLBS) (Limbang branch) at the MDL Multipurpose Hall, Batu Biah Limbang on Saturday (June 25).

Aside from the Nuba Laya Festival, other festivals held in Limbang district include the Babulang Festival and Buffalo Race, Medamit Festival, Makan Tahun Perdana (Kedayan community), Bedudun Festival and Buffalo Race (Malay community), and Chinese Community Cultural Festival.

Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Rahman who is also Bukit Kota assemblyman, announced that on Aug 13, a special event, the Northern Region Music Festival, will be held to highlight local ethnic music from the northern region, specifically the Malays, Kedayan, Iban, Bisaya, Lun Bawang, Chinese, Penan, and Kelabit.

He went on to say that Sarawak’s tourism strengths are centred on CANF, or Culture, Adventure, Nature, and Food, which can attract both domestic and foreign tourists.

The Bukit Kota assemblyman also mentioned that he is aware of the Lun Bawang community’s distinct culture and customs, which he believes should be highlighted and included in the Sarawak Tourism Calendar.

“This is why the Limbang District Main Festivals Committee organises these festivals and works hard to get them on the Sarawak Tourism Calendar.

“Several local ethnic festivals have been included successfully in the Sarawak Tourism Calendar,” he added.

The Lun Bawang community responded positively to the Nuba Laya Festival, which was held for two days from June 24 to 25, 2022, and featured a variety of interesting activities such as badminton, volleyball, and tug of war, cultural night, Ayung Anak Adi Delai and Decur Competition, and sales booth.

Nuba Laya is derived from a Lun Bawang community food name that refers to mashed rice wrapped in nyirik leaves and eaten with side dishes such as meat, fish, and so on.

Limbang District officer Superi Awang Said, PLBS president Dolphina Alau Balang, and PLBS Limbang branch president Councillor Frederick Lalung Ngilo were also present at the event. — DayakDaily