Festival song…

I did mention in this post that the Borneo Cultural Festival 2015 would be from the 30th of July till the 8th of August and that would be a good time to come and visit Sibu.

Personally, I am not really into these things. Initially, I did drop by earlier sometime in the late afternoon to buy home the traditional ethnic Dayak ayam pansoh (chicken cooked in bamboo) but eventually, I stopped doing that as well. However, my girl and her colleague/housemate were around for the weekend…and she was not all that busy. Usually, even though she would be home Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, she would be bogged down with all her work – all the lesson preparation, getting ready all the teaching aids and having to go through the mundane chore of writing the teacher’s record book. Who says teachers are so free, work only half a day and have so many holidays? It is work…work…work…and work!!!

Anyway, to get back to the festival, since she happened to be relatively free, I suggested going to walk around and look at what they had in store. After all, her colleague from Kuching had never been to Sibu before, much less to to the festival, so I thought she might enjoy it. Everyone liked the idea so off we went to the Sibu Town Square…

BCF 2015 at Sibu Town Square

I dropped them off at a convenient place and then I went to find a place to park the car before I made my way there myself. They had all the Malay stalls on one side, around the same side as these swan sculptures & fountain…

Swans, Sibu Town Square

…but since I already had dinner, I did not really walk around there to see what they had. I did stop by this Melanau Association’s booth though…

Melanau Association's booth 1

…and they did have some interesting things…

Melanau Association's booth 2

…on display…

Melanau Association's booth 3

…but there wasn’t anybody around! I did not have a problem…

Melanau Association's booth 4

…but I could imagine many visitors, tourists especially, trying to figure out what everything was and what they were for. They should have somebody stationed there to help in case anybody asked and I also felt that it would be a great idea to sell some of the Melanau delicacies such as sagu‘ (sago pellets), terbaloi (Melanau sago coconut crackers), tumpik and so on and their handicrafts too perhaps. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any.

There was a show going on and it did seem to attract a very big crowd. Some Indonesian fusion band with modern and traditional musical instruments was playing when I arrived. and after they were done, this girl took to stage…


…to sing Pink’s Try and yes, I would say she sang very well indeed. After that, there were cultural dances including a traditional one by a primary school. The three ladies actually went and watched for a while and they saw a group from China, an Iban performance…and they even saw my cousin doing his very popular Chinese mask dance but after the aforementioned song, I decided to go and walk around the Chinese stalls…


…that included this one from the Foochow Association…


…and this Teochew Association one…


There was lots and lots of food, all the delicacies peculiar to each dialect…

Mang ngee

…but no, I did not buy anything…

Tee peang

Oh? They were even selling the traditional Foochow red wine…

Ang chiew

…and I watched with interest the ladies frying mee sua kueh, something like fried or koi (fried yam cake), that is not usually available anywhere around town on normal days. Unfortunately, the photo that I took came out a bit blur so I am not including it in this post.

By then, I was already feeling so hot and uncomfortable, dripping profusely in my sweat and I felt as if I was about to get cramps in my legs so I decided to walk back to my car…which I had to park so so so far away as they had blocked all the roads around the whole area and the few parking spaces that were closer had all been taken up. Only then did I remember why I had not been to the festival all these years and was quite happy to just stay at home, relaxing in comfort within the confines of my humble abode. Back at the car, I texted my girl telling her where it was and told them to carry on and enjoy themselves – I would just wait around there for them.

Incidentally, there was also a trade fair running simultaneously in the big open area right across the road from the town square where they would have the Ramadhan bazaar every year and also the food festival round year end. Of course, after walking around the food stalls, I was in no condition to venture there to browse around. I did see on Facebook though that my friend, Victor, had a stall there promoting his Uncle James’ products  and a friend of mine did drop by a stall and was so sweet and thoughtful as to get my girl this very pretty pendant…


…and went through the trouble of sending it over to our house, thank you so very much, Catherine. That is very much appreciated indeed. If I am not mistaken, an old friend of ours had a stall there selling all these lovely hand-crafted trinkets and stuff and last I heard, she was into this kind of business at a shop in Bintulu.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

12 thoughts on “Festival song…”

  1. Lots of nice photos today! 🙂

    Do click the video clip I’ve attached in my reply to Libby’s comment for more…and the link added will let you have a look at the one going on right now in Kuching, the state capital, Sarawak.

  2. I am one kind that doesn’t like to venture into crowded place. Even the so much talk about Kuching fest doesn’t lure me to go for so many donkey years. Indeed a nice pendant.

    Yes, very pretty.

    I’ve been to the one in Kuching many years ago. More or less the same thing – lots of food, lots of people…very hot but no cultural performances there, it’s mainly a food festival.

  3. RM10 red wine is indeed reasonable. If i were there, I would only have interest in those food stall only. Kekekeke!

    We usually buy RM8 only, undiluted, unadulterated – very good one. Same here, just browse around all the food stalls – did not even bother to stick around to watch the cultural performances. Hehehehehe!!!!

  4. You are welcome, Arthur and Melissa. You guess right. I bought it from Ursula, our friend from Bintulu. I went to Bintulu not too long ago and saw her make her handicrafts from scratch. I normally don’t go to such festivals, because like you, I prefer not to sweat amidst the huge crowd. I went there to catch up with Ursula.

    Yes, I met her in 2013 – looking really good after all these years since our time in Kanowit in the late 70’s. I wonder how she has managed to stay looking exactly the same, no change.

  5. I actually have two friends from Sibu! One of them is Foochew; the other Hakka.
    I guess these two dialects must be very popular in Sibu.

    Not really. Sibu is predominantly Foochow though there may be some form the other dialects. More Hakka in Kuching but lately, the city has been invaded by Foochows too. They’re over there with you in London or the UK? I wonder if I know them…or they know me…

  6. It’s really nice to have a walkabout to look see at the festival. But the problem is the roadblocks and the crowd. That’s why I did not go and see the Peranakan Festival in KT. This Borneo Cultural Festival should be very interesting. Lots of see and learn. And to eat too 😀

    Yes, our mistake. Should have gone without dinner…and then see what good stuff we could get from there to enjoy. Too full, could just see and not eat. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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