Sabahans take Kaamatan online in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

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Full-scale celebrations of Kaamatan, or the Harvest Festival are a no go in Sabah due to Covid-19, but this has not stopped people from organising online events that are somewhat significant to the festival.

People can take part in traditional dances, reading in the Kadazandusun language and the much-awaited online Sugandoi (singing) competition.

For the Sugandoi competition, which is divided into categories for children and adults, participants need to send in a video of them belting out their favourite Kadazandusun songs while wearing their traditional costumes.


One of the organisers, Evaritus Gungkit, said participants must send their entries to Jinus Juis at 019-533 0675 via the Telegram application by May 25.

“The finals which will be conducted online and will be held at 2pm on May 31, ” he said.

The winner of the adult category will receive RM6,000 with a trophy and certificate while the first and second runners-up will get RM4,000 and RM3,000, respectively.


There are seven consolation prizes and a best performance award to be given out as well.

As for the children’s category, the first place winner will get RM1,500 while the first and second runners-up will get RM1,000 and RM800, respectively, as well as trophies and certificates.

Two consolation prizes and a “Bintang Popular” prize will also be awarded.


Evaritus said the competition is held online as they hope to continue the annual tradition for Kaamatan amid the global pandemic situation.

Apart from that, an online reading competition in the native Kadazandusun language is being held for children between the ages of 10 and 12.

Organiser Steve Johny Mositun, who is also Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) youth council chairman, said this competition is important for children to learn their mother tongue.

“I myself have not mastered the language but I am continuing to learn, that is why I think it is important we try to keep these languages alive by having programmes such as this, ” he said.

Participants will be given a text to read and they will have to send a video recording of themselves reading the text.

The deadline for this competition is May 25. Judges will include professionals including Kadazandusun deejays.

More information on this can be found at KiiHoii.com.

For those who love performing traditional dances, they can showcase their talents by entering an online dance competition organised by the KDCA Cultural Village.

According to information from the Facebook page – KDCA Cultural Village KCV RW -, those who can do the Sumazau Penampang and Sasau Papar are encouraged to join.

They have to send a video of themselves performing these dances wearing traditional costumes by May 31.

Winners stand a chance to win RM700, RM500 and RM300.

More information on this can be found at the KDCA Cultural Village KCV RW Facebook page.

Quite a number of other related activities are in the midst of being organised online as well.

The Star

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