Youths performing the Kaamatan choirs at the launching in Beaufort
During the month-length Kaamatan this year, one would have seen the active participation of the Kadazandusun youths in various activities related to the festival. Among the activities where the youths have made significant contributions are;
(i) Sugandoi Kaamatan - a talentime competition where the various district Kaamatans will hold their respective talents and send them to the State-Level Sugandoi Kaamatan Finals at the Hongkod Koisaan. This is participated mostly by those below 45 years old.
(ii) Unduk Ngadau - this is a cultural beauty pageants organized by KDCA to bring to the front the beauties of the Kadazandusun community. The purposes are basically to showcase the "Kinomulok" tradition whereby the outstanding young girls are expected to conform to the strict norms, values and worldviews of the community and to allow them to be the leading role-models for the youngsters. Except for the organizing committee members and the general audience, all the Unduk Ngadau contestants are young girls between the age of 18 to 25 years.
(iii) Food stalls - About 2/3 of those operating the food stalls during the Kaamatan are believed to be those under the age of 45 years old. This makes sense as most of the customers are belong to the young generations.
(iv) Music and Dance - Again, about 2/3 of those who performed as dancers or traditional musicians were youths. The elders were needed only to guide the young musicians (such as the gong beaters) to play according to the real Kadazandusun traditions.
(v) General services - There were various services offered by Kadazandusun youths during the Kaamatan. For example, they were involved in promoting a number of products (such as ICT services), handicrafts, CDs/Cassettes, or guiding tourists (as what was done by the International Hospitality Committee) or participated in the various committee members etc.
Based on the above, it is clear that the Kadazandusun youths were heavily involved in organizing as well in making the Kaamatan festival a huge success.
By Allan Dumbong