KUCHING, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- The national-level Malaysia Day celebration tonight has provided a platform for the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) to promote traditional costumes of various ethnic groups in Sabah to the public.
Sarawak KDCA chairman Gundohing James Samid said that a total of 150 members of the association attended the celebration at the Perpaduan Stadium, dressed in the traditional attire of Sabah ethnic groups including Bisaya, Iranun and Kadazan Dusun.
“We want to promote the Sabah ethnic groups by highlighting our traditional attire, thus giving exposure to the public about the uniqueness of the Sabah’s various ethnic groups,” he told Bernama.
Gundohing, from Kota Belud, Sabah, said that about 500 Sabahans residing in Sarawak have registered with the association.
“Through such a celebration, it is hoped that more Sabahans residing in Sarawak, either working or furthering their studies, will be attracted to register so that this association can move forward,” he said.
KDCA member, Nurezaidatuliman Jamiran, 20, who looked resplendent donning traditional costumes from the Iranun ethnic group, said that many people are still unaware of the group’s existence.
Nurezaidatuliman, from Kota Kinabalu, who is currently furthering her studies at the Teacher Education Institute, Batu Lintang Campus, said that she would wear traditional Iranun costumes whenever there was any event or celebration on campus.
“I am proud to be able to wear the traditional costumes of my ethnic group, Iranun. I hope that it can bring awareness to the public, especially the people of the Peninsula who lack exposure to ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak.
“I am also hoping that more young people participate in this kind of event and more programmes such as this are held. In conjunction with Malaysia Day today, let's avoid racism,” she said.
Another KDCA member, Saiful Ihsan Nasir, 20, clad in the Kadazan Dusun traditional attire, hopes that more people in the Peninsula will get to know the culture of various ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak.
“I am studying here in Sarawak, many of my friends from the Peninsula do not know much about the ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak but I hope they can learn more about the culture in these two states," said the Tenom-born youth.