Borneo Cultural Festival – BCF 2008

bcf 2008

The Borneo Cultural Festival is held annually in Sibu and showcases our ethnic diversity. BCF 2008 has three themed areas – the Chinese, the Malay/Melanau and the Iban/Dayak cultural areas. This post is focusing on the Borneo Chinese Cultural Festival (BCCF) and the opening ceremony. I will visit on other nights to do the other writeups.

The Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) 2008 opened up with a fireworks display. It lasted for a good 15 minutes and kicked off the festivities.

food stalls

The highlight of BCF is always the food stalls.

food stalls 2

The BCCF has ethnic food stalls operated by the respective clans.


The food stalls features the respective delicacies of the ethnicity of the clan. This is the Hainan clan, which is not very big in Sibu, which is predominantly Foochow.

bbq pork

The Hainan, who are known for their Hainan Chicken Rice, is also offering one of their other specialties – BBQ pork.

meat mushroom

They also have a traditional dish which I can’t remember the name of consisting of a starchy blend of meat and mushrooms.

free samples

You can actually eat your way through BCF 2008 without paying a single cent from the free samples of food, but that wouldn’t be a very nice thing to do. πŸ˜‰

mary foochow

The Foochow Association was well represented at BCF 2008. This is Mary posing in front of it. She’s Foochow, although I can speak the dialect better than her. πŸ™‚


There are makeshift seating arrangements on the footpath and inside certain stalls for people to enjoy their food on the spot.

erhu band

There is a traditional Chinese group playing erhu and other classic Chinese musical instruments as part of the program.

me erhu

Thus, naturally… πŸ˜‰ What did you expect, you’re on πŸ™‚


The Teochew group also made their presence felt at the Borneo Cultural Festival.

teochew delicacies

This is their portfolio of delicacies…


…and their pork offerings, which is rather impressive.

hakka dumpling

This is a variant of meat dumplings wrapped in square leaves instead of the triangular shape.

henghua dumplings

We compared the Hakka version (previous) to the Henghua version (above).

chinese opera

There was a traditional Chinese opera going on at the Chinese Cultural Festival.

I shot a video of it, it’s pretty good and surprisingly entertaining for a dying art.

heng hua pride

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a photo at the Heng Hua booth, being a Heng Hua and all. Heng Hua Pride! =D

beer stall

We stumbled upon a stall where we could enjoy our food within a booth. It serves alcohol which is always a plus point. RM 12 for three (3) cans of beer.

me promotor

I was immediately asked to drink by the promoter. The beer kept flowing for free after that thanks to one of the kind association members.

traditional beer

The beer was poured into an authentic Chinese pitcher and then to bowls instead of cups for The Real China Experience.

me mary beer

I didn’t even remember how much I drank, have to ask Mary for the figures. πŸ˜‰

dumplings comparison

This is the comparison between the Hakka dumplings (RM 6) and the Heng Hua dumplings (RM 6.50).

hakka dumplings

The Hakka dumplings were wrapped in brown leaves and is completely white. There’s no soy sauce in the glutenous rice, which is different from what we always get. It contains pork, mushrooms and peanuts.

henghua dumpling

The Heng Hua dumplings are the ones that I’m used to eating. It’s dark from soy sauce and contains more generous and juicier chunks of pork, mushrooms and peanuts. We all concluded that the Heng Hua one tastes better, and I assure you, I didn’t skew the results due to being of Heng Hua ethnicity. πŸ˜‰

amber fluid

The amber fluid floweth throughout the night…

flow 2

…and floweth

flow 3

…and floweth


…and it seems like the cup (or bowl) almost overfloweth.

group photo

I think it was the rowdiest booth in the whole of BCF 2008.


Thanks to the association for giving us a good time (and free beer). πŸ˜‰

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22 thoughts on “Borneo Cultural Festival – BCF 2008”

  1. the hakka dumplings also contain soy souce. i don’t know if it’s original but my hakka mum always mixes soy souce in her bak chang.
    anyway great scenes at the BCF. heard project superstars are coming to perform?
    i see you also had a hand on the shoulder of a not-very-cute chick, so i guess your blogger reputation is cleared!

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, few years ago you write about this festival. During that time your evil twin SAM was doing the report and I’m a bit dissapointed cos he din’t show up in your entry ;(

  3. Yes, I remember that post of urs that Roland mentioned – by Sam, ur evil twin!…LOL!!!See that old woman’s face at that Hainan stall!!! And out of curiosity, do u speak Heng Hua? Sob! Sob! looks like I’ve to miss all that this year, damn gout!…And Heng Hua Pride, Huai Bin? Doesn’t that word bring certain connotations these days? Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  4. mmmm look at all the food, btw i thought they always have a tattoo convention or something like that for borneo cultural festival? what happen to it?

  5. Now I know you are 50% Heng Hua and 50% Foochow. I always thought Poh is a pretty unique surname for Foochow, apparently it is not one. LOL
    Hehe… the Heng Hua I know majority have pretty loud voices, I don’t remember you speak loud too.

  6. GF: Yeah, bak chang should have soy sauce. It doesn’t taste as good if the essential flavoring isn’t there. It looks too pale to boot.
    Yeah, they’re coming, but I don’t know when. There are a lot of hair shows there too, I went last night, and got my hair butchered. πŸ™
    bengbeng: I couldn’t even hear my phone, it was so noisy at the booth. πŸ™‚
    Roland: No, I think that was the Kuching Festival report. I’ve only wrote about the BCF once and I had to borrow a digicam from a camera shop coz mine was messed up due to a snowboarding accident (so it was when I was still studying in Australia).
    My evil twin never shows up on my blog. He looks too much like me. πŸ˜‰
    ahlost: Bak chang is one of the things that I have recently learned how to appreciate too. Now I also have cravings for it from time to time.
    Clare: Yeah, I know it looks dodgy, but my reputation isn’t exactly squeaky clean so it doesn’t matter what I do anymore. I learned a Chinese phrase “Tiau ching huang he de si bu ching” (Jump into the Yellow River also cannot clean the dirt off).
    Dr. Pepsi: She wasn’t. Quite sober, that girl. πŸ™‚
    wilson: Nope, I’m Heng Hua and proud of it. Although there isn’t a lot of us out there. Little bit extinct, our clan.
    I was so happy when I heard a couple of old people speaking Heng Hua when I was in Melbourne. πŸ™‚
    suituapui: Really? I don’t even remember writing it! Oh well, my memory is notoriously unreliable anyway.
    I don’t speak Heng Hua but I’m proud to be one, that’s the only connoctation I meant. πŸ˜‰
    goolooloo: Yeah, thanks to me. πŸ˜‰
    I very safe and gentleman one, just ask Mary.
    Darren: I saw a poster about Ernesto. I don’t know if it’s the same Ernesto from Borneo Headhunters but I’m going after work today to check. Gotta get him to pierce my tongue again and maybe do a small tattoo.
    fish fish: Yeah, but the clan heritage is from the paternal side, so I’m considered Heng Hua. It’s not even a common surname for Heng Hua. All my cousins are surnamed Pow for some reason. My grandfather is Poh though and so is my father and I’m the ONLY remaining Poh male in our lineage so I have to go forth and multiply. πŸ˜‰
    Aaron: Hey, you’re a Sibu blogger too. Join us during out blogger meets. Resistence is futile. πŸ˜‰
    al’sera: Indeed! It’s surprisingly good. πŸ™‚

  7. I’m Heng Hua as well. The population of Heng Hua in Sarikei is so minimal that I don’t think I even have any Heng Hua friend during my secondary school. LOL..
    Been away from Heng Hua population, I don’t know the language and also the culture as well. We normally speak Hokkien at home and most of Heng Hua relatives are in Sibu.
    Btw, did you go the Heng Hua Association dinner last 2 saturday ago at Civic Center Sibu? I was there with my dad.
    Drinking from the bowl seems kinda cool, like the ancient chinese. And of coz gonna get drunk faster as well. He he..

  8. jessy: It’s fun, I wanted to go again last night but it was raining so I didn’t. I’m planning to go tomorrow, got a wedding to go to tonight.
    willchua: Greetings brother! πŸ™‚
    Yeah, the Heng Hua clan is growing smaller and smaller but our forefathers were great reproducers. I know an uncle with 11 offspring (no kidding) but then again most of us just have 1-2 children. I can speak Hokkien too, it’s kinda similar to Heng Hua. I’m not involved with the association, since there is a generation gap between me and most of the members. πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, it’s an awesome festival. Unfortunately, it has been cancelled this year coz of political issues – the opposition won a lot of seats and for some reason the ruling coalition is none to pleased and decided to ban it. What a waste. 😑


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