Borneo Cultural Festival 2014

borneo cultural festival

The Borneo Cultural Festival is back! BCF 2014 is the latest iteration of this Sibu festival celebrating local Dayak/Iban and other native cultures. It’s our version of Kuching Festival and there’s a similar emphasis on food! The last time I went was when I was working here, during Borneo Cultural Festival 2008.

sellers

I went with my dad for the last two days and the layout is similar, with sections for Dayak cuisine, Malay cooking and Chinese food. I first wrote about Borneo Cultural Festival in 2003 when my blog was just over a year old (they had a beauty pageant for Miss Malaysian Chinese that year) and went again for BCF 2006 – check out the Borneo Cultural Festival category for full coverage!

bcf2014

Here is my photoblog for BCF 2014:

ayam pansoh

Ayam Pansuh is a Sarawakian dish that uses bamboo to cook chicken. The meat is stuffed into the tube with tapioca leaves and some water before being cooked over a charcoal fire. The bamboo is then cracked open and the water becomes the stock of this chicken dish. You can eat the tapioca leaves too!

beancurd sheet

This is a piece of tofu skin that’s been dipped in *real fish batter* before being deep fried. I’ve never quite had something like this before. It’s made of soybeans – basically a bean curd sheet that’s rehydrated and coated with fish. My dad loved it.

satay

12 different types of satay! There’s chicken skin, chicken heart, chicken liver, rabbit, beef, lamb, cockles, ostrich, and many other unusual proteins on skewers. No pork satay here though coz this is a halal stall. However, my favorite guilty pleasure is here in abundance – grilled chicken skin actually tastes wonderful, but you can’t eat too much of it or you’ll get sick of the ultra rich fat.

wife biscuits

Wife Cake comes in many different variants here. Besides the traditional lao por peng, there’s also “Husband Biscuits” (Biskut Suami) which uses star anise as a filling.

pulut panggang

Pulut Panggang makes an authentic appearance too! It’s glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves that’s been grilled over a charcoal BBQ, giving it the distinctive smoked flavor. I bought several of the beef and chicken filled ones and it was good.

potato twisters

I got potato twisters as well – a staple fair food. It’s a whole potato that’s been cut into spirals and this version uses a sweet batter to coat it before it’s deep fried and slathered with mayo and chilli sauce.

bcf2014 me

Awesome stuff.

ice cream cone

This is a very diluted soft serve ice cream cone. It’s a mix of chocolate and vanilla but it tastes horrible – akin to a penny pinching coffee shop being miserly with the cocoa powder. smirk

chess competition

Chinese chess competition that’s open to the public. It was played on one of the smaller stages in a tournament format.

best pavilion

This particular booth got Best of Show. The Chinese pavilions are usually very well decorated compared to the sparse Malay booths.

pavilions

Here’s another example.

chinese culture art

These pavilions are usually made by clan associations e.g. Heng Hua, Foochow etc but some of them are owned by more general groups like the Chinese Culture & Art Appreciation societies…

gula melaka puffs

…and they have the manpower from clan membership working inside too!

clan pavilions

The Chinese pavilions line the side facing the main road so it’s beautiful when you look in that way – the lights, the glitter, the jazz! (or rather, er-hu ;))

taiwanese food

There’s also a huge Taiwanese food trend in the stalls this year.

bcf

Music, dance and cultural performances are constantly done on the main stage – it’s also a major attraction besides the food.

sugar machine

Sugar twill machine that makes candy on a stick with CAD printing that you can choose – anything from your Chinese Zodiac (Rooster, Dragon, Snake etc) to intellectual property (Doraemon, Hello Kitty and the Disney character lineup). It’s very popular with kids.

sugar twill

(and the young-at-heart)

sibu pasar malam

The Sibu Pasar Malam Association also has a booth selling traditional night market fare.

UniqBun

Gardenia, Massimo and other commercial large-scale baking and distribution operations in KL don’t sell their RM 0.80 ready-to-eat cream filled buns here, so people often buy them in bulk at LCCT/KLIA2 before flying back. There’s now a Sibu company doing it – UniqBun.

cook-to-order

This is my favorite food of the Borneo Cultural Festival 2014. I award it my personal blue ribbon. ;) I even went back the next day with my dad to get some more. It’s cooked-to-order palm sugar balls filled with glutinous rice (pulut). It puffs into a ball when it’s deep fried and it’s a sweet treat at RM 1 each.

palm sugar balls

You just can’t argue with piping hot, deep-fried sweet balls of caramelized airy dough.

dabai sarawak

Oh, and it’s dabai season again! I like how this stall had samplers that has been blanched and marinated in soy sauce and sugar (the traditional way of preparing it). You can only get these in Sarawak. It’s called okana (black olives) but it’s not technically in the olive family. A delicious, seasonal local delicacy.

cultural performance

I quite enjoyed going to this year’s Borneo Cultural Festival with my dad. It didn’t run for a while due to politics but now that it’s back, I hope it’ll be an annual event. It wasn’t very packed on the last day due to the rain and some of the food items sells out fast since it starts at 5 pm but it’s a lot of fun!

food stalls

More importantly, BCF 2014 is a festival we can call our own! :)

Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 Closing Ceremony

bcf 2008 closing

The Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 has come and gone and the closing ceremony during the weekend was a grand affair, with fireworks and performances to mark the end of the BCF 2008. I have attended the festival for most days of the week and the turnout was great, with the festival being packed full of people despite the drizzle.

This is a performance by TUKU KAME featuring Jerry Kamit during the closing ceremony. They’re also slated to perform at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) later this week in Kuching.

eddy mary poh poh

I haven’t had dinner yet, and thus we went in search for food with Eddy, his nephew, Mary and Mr. Poh (not me). Last call for tuak and all that. ;)

pansoh ikan

We had pansoh ikan (fish cooked in bamboo)…

lemang

…and lemang (glutenous rice wrapped in pandan leaves).

I heard a haunting refrain of The Phantom of the Opera and went to film a video of the performance. You have to watch this – the vocal range of the female singer is amazing!

me simmy

I also went to Simmy’s booth while I was there and talked to her about photography and models in Sibu for an upcoming project I’m doing. She’s a professional freelance photographer and she has a website with her photography portfolio.

haircutting demo

The major hairstylists were out in force at the BCF 2008 with free haircutting sessions. I just got a haircut but went for it anyway just for fun.

getting haircut

She ended up butchering my hair a little, with one side longer than the other but people claim that it’s not very noticeable anyway, having the chubby face that comes with my weight gain.

me hairstylist

I’m not very sure what to think of that. Blessing in disguise? Or friendly hints that I need to lose some weight? Hmm… ;)

carnival

The BCF 2008 is also about having fun and the carnival games is a place where you can get fleeced into paying RM 100 for a Made in China stuffed toy that costs RM 0.20 and yet have fun while doing it. Fleeced for fun. ;)

bingo

There are a lot of different carnival games ranging from bingo…

ping pong

…to ping pong ball based games.

playing ping pong

I managed to get a turtle key chain for my efforts.

turtle

“May you have a prosperous and beautiful future”. Wow, thanks turtle! =D

shooting

There is also a shooting game that I played in an inebriated state…

idiot

…doing the usual stuff people do when they’re less than sober. I love the expression of the guy next to me. :)

I find that I’m a little bit annoying (even to myself) when I get past a certain state of sobriety though.

darts dodge

It’s also not a good idea to be going for the dart games in an inebriated state. Look at how far the girl is dodging from my questionable aim. Hmm…I didn’t notice that until now. She memang siam hui hui.

darts 2

I managed to win RM 2 after spending RM 25…and I felt pleased. Jesus Christ…

childish

I’m so childish sometimes, I amaze even myself…

mary wins

Mary, rating higher on the sobriety scale than myself, managed to win two pillows. Hmph…

bcf finale

BCF 2008 is fun for all ages (and especially for the inner child in you). There are cultural shows, fashion shows, and games galore. You can drink yourself into a stupor and shoot less-than-straight photographs of the events (which is quite fun in it’s own right). ;)

I’m not sure if you’ll want to fly all the way here if you’re not from Sarawak, but the timing is good – right before the RWMF 2008 kicks off in Kuching, so drop by if you’re already here. Cheers from Sibu!

Harajuku girl

harajuku girl

This is one of the hairstylists for Alan Hair Saloon that I met during the BCF 2008 festival. I found her rather attractive and took the opportunity to carve another notch in my belt, er…I mean, create content for the XX Chromosome category. ;)

harajuku girl me

She has this innocent look that renders well for image capturing…very photogenic indeed. I’ll have the full writeup of the BCF 2008 closing ceremony up later tonight. Cheers!

Press and bloggers from KL and Singapore covering BCF 2008

nasir me debby

This is Nasir from Virtual Malaysia who also has a music related blog and Debby Ng (who has an environmental awareness blog) from Singapore coming under the auspices of Asia magazine to cover the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008. I met up with them for lunch after work just now and we’ll be going to the final night of the BCF 2008 soon. I’ve gotten some pretty interesting feedback about the BCF 2008 from two non-Sarawakian media. More updates after I get back. Cheers!

Borneo Cultural Festival 2008: Borneo Dayak Festival (BDF)

iban food fest

The BCF 2008 ended the Borneo Dayak Festival (BDF) with a tuak (local Iban rice wine) drinking competition, a finale highly (no pun intended) befitting the Dayak themed festival. The Dayak is a collective reference to a local ethnic group comprising of several subgroups of which the majority is Iban.

iban food

The Borneo Dayak Festival is centralized around a long row of food stalls bordering the BCF 2008 perimeter grounds. The food stalls offer a large variety of local delights including pansoh manok (bamboo cooked meat) and tuak.

stall and art

There are also stalls showcasing the native art of the Dayaks with their knitted tribal designs being the most popular.

nice legs

The shapely legs of the locals are also on display in certain stalls, though I suspect it’s not for sale. ;)

melanau

There are also a lot of stalls catering to the thirst of the crowd with local mixed drinks like air bandong (a popular concoction of rose syrup and evaporated milk), air jagung (corn drink, tastes better than it sounds) and coconut juice.

air tebu

I came across a stall selling fresh sugarcane juice. Fresh sugarcane is made by using a pressure roller machine to extract the negligible moisture content from a sugarcane plant. It takes a lot of plants to make a single cup of the juice.

sugarcane

The sugarcane is first peeled and then inserted into this medieval looking machine with a hose that directs the juice down into a filter.

pakcik

Careful Pakcik! The rollers are not friendly to human fingers! ;)

pansoh manok

I would be remiss if I didn’t eat the pansoh manok (meat cooked in bamboo). It’s a local Iban delicacy where the meat is stuffed inside hollow bamboo plants and then cooked slowly over a charcoal fire.

pansoh manok prep

It is then unsealed by taking out the leaves stuffing one end and emptying the contents into a plate. There are plastic seating arrangements at the BCF 2008 for the food stalls.

tuak

Of course, a meal of pansoh manok would be incomplete without the obligatory tuak (Iban rice wine). Tuak is made from fermented rice and it’s sold in 1.25 liter PET bottles that once contained 7Up or Coke for RM 10. ;)

pansoh manok pork

We had the pork pansoh manok (RM 15). There are three different types of pansoh manok in this stall – pork, chicken and fish.

tuak drink

I was a little inebriated after drinking the 1.25 litre bottle of tuak. Tuak can contain anything from 9 – 14 % alcohol. There’s really no control in the fermentation process and some tuak is “fortified” with cheap distilled liquor for more oomph…

tuak post

In fact, I was more than a little inebriated from the tuak. I went and played some carnival games after that and a video was taken of me that projects me in a less than complimentary light. More on that carnival games tomorrow – I’m going again tonight. :)

swan city

Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 is a week long annual event at Swan City (Sibu).

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.

hainan

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. ;)

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. :)

makeshift

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… ;) What did you expect, you’re on sixthseal.com. :)

teochew

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

teochew delicacies

This is their portfolio of delicacies…

pork

…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. ;)

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. ;)

amber fluid

The amber fluid floweth throughout the night…

flow 2

…and floweth

flow 3

…and floweth

overflow

…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.

association

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

Pedophile Heaven

girls basketball

I went to the Borneo Cultural Festival 2008 just now to catch the high school girl’s basketball competition. The BCF is an annual week long event held to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Sibu and I went to the opening ceremony last night (full write up tomorrow, got a pool party to go to in an hour).

girl sweatshirt

You may recognize the female in the gray sweatshirt from the previous XX Chromosome entry. I didn’t want to take photos with minors for that particular category lest I get hauled off for 10 years of jail time and 10 strokes of the rotan (caning). ;)

teacher

She looks much better in person actually, and she’s a teacher (albeit a very young one).

girls playing

The girl’s basketball competition was surprisingly entertaining (and not for the reasons you’re thinking). I meant that in the most platonic manner.

girls tussle

There was a fair bit of competition going on, being a contact sport and all that. It turned me on…to sports. You didn’t let me finish speaking. I meant I’m into basketball now after watching all that. ;)

my ball

It’s my ball. No, it’s my ball. The other girls weren’t looking at me by the way. The referee was standing beside me and they were waiting for her to make a decision.

raise hands

…and as we raise our hands in silent prayer,

ball

We beseech thee to be our guiding light in times of duress.

I took too many photos to upload, so here’s a video of the girl’s basketball competition.

mvp

This is my favorite player (in a totally non-sexually connotative way). I just like her repertoire of expressions. :)

Borneo Cultural Festival

bcf entrance

Hello! My name is Sam and I went to the Borneo Cultural Festival just now coz I like bright, shiny lights. I don’t like crowds though but mom and dad was with me so it was OK.

bcf henghua

This is a Heng Hua stall that my daddy told me is
my heritage. I tried to eat one of the pastries and it’s actually
pretty good. I got a boo boo though when I fell and scraped my knee
while trying to take photos.

bcf stage

I heard sounds coming from the stage so I left mommy and daddy and went to watch some girls almost bo cheng sa one. I don’t know why but I felt funny down there after looking at the girls.

bcf chinese

My hands were also shaking so the photos are blurry. I don’t know if
it’s from the girls or coz Huai Bin kor kor didn’t give me any pills
today. There are a lot of stalls at BCF with ethnic segregation e.g.
Melanau, Chinese etc.

bcf decor

The stage show then changed to guys so I don’t want to see anymore.

bcf stall

I went to walk around and saw this girl so I touch her nen nen. I don’t know why, but she scolded me and ignore me after that.

bcf bamboo

I was hungry after all that grabbing action and got myself rice cooked in bamboo to eat.

bcf popcorn

There was a man making popcorn and I ate that too.

I also bought four (4) SIM cards coz I’m retarded.
016 885 3221
016 864 7478
015 885 1428
014 680 7844

Seriously though, I’m think about maintaining just two (2) lines,
one for business and one for friends. I had a really good number (016
869 0110) but tardiness made me lose that one. I’m using 014 680 2348
right now.

Which of the four numbers above is the easiest to remember? 7478 and
7844 means something in Chinese but I don’t like the prefix. I want to
just maintain one.

Suggestions anyone?

Borneo Cultural Festival Sibu (2003)

borneocf.jpg
Borneo Cultural Festival 2003, Sibu.

This has been going on at the Sibu town square for a while now, and
will continue for a few more days. I took the photos yesterday noon,
but I’ve been busy so I couldn’t post it yesterday. My apologies.
Anyway, the story behind the photos is worthy of a mention, but I will
put the photos up first – it cost me RM 16 so enjoy. ;)

balloon.jpg
A balloon flying high.

blowpipe.jpg
A blowpipe accuracy competition – a blowpipe is a long contraption used
by the Ibans (and other groups) that propels a dart (originally
poisoned and used for hunting) to a target by the user blowing through
the pipe.

ccomp1.jpg
Something going on here, I just didn’t say long enough to find out what it was…

ccomp2.jpg
Another shot of the unknown event above, gotta run, battery low.

chineses.jpg
A row of traditional Chinese stalls.

drinks.jpg
Thirsty?

stage.jpg
Setting the stage for the final judging of the Borneo Cultural Festival
Sibu’s Miss Malaysian Chinese 2003 tonight. I took photos of the
candidates about a week ago.
Link: Miss Malaysian Chinese (Borneo Cultural Festival, Sibu) – Miss Photogenic photo shoot [sixthseal.com]

tugofwar.jpg
Tug of war.

swing.jpg
This is a swing of sorts used by the Melanau at their harvest festival.
It’s a test of manhood, they swing and bungee from this contraption.

main.jpg
This is the main motif of Borneo Cultural Festival – a montage of a
Chinese lantern, a Malay ketupat, and several native symbols which I’m
not familiar enough with to comment about, but I like the tuak (rice
wine) that’s perpetually pouring from the top. :)

About the RM 16 photos, I went to the camera repair shop yesterday
morning but unfortunately, my digicam could not be repaired due to
mould (?) in the internal components. The repair guy asked if the
digicam has had water damage before and I told him it had, but that was
a long time ago – about a year back. I forgot to zip my pants pocket
while skiing and snowboarding at Mount Buller (Melbourne) and found my
digicam covered with snow at the end of the session. Anyway, he said
that was probably the cause – the mould slowly manifested itself and
damaged some of the stuff so it needs to be sent to Nikon Service in KL
to be repaired. :( That means I will be without a digicam for about a
week, but I will check other repair shops tomorrow and see if they have
the necessary components.

Anyway, I passed by the town square yesterday noon and just HAD to
take photos, so I went to one of the camera shops and offered the owner
a deal – let me rent a digicam for 15 minutes and I’ll pay him RM 10.
Heh. Well, I had my (broken) digicam with me, and my CF card, so I’ll
just need one for a couple of minutes to take photos. I convinced him
to rent me a new Nikon Coolpix 3500 (it was the only one that could
hold my CF card, the shop is a Sony dealer, so all the other digicams
they stock use memory sticks) and I’ll give RM 100 + my digicam as a
deposit. Well, he was more than happy to do that, so I waited while he
opened the new digicam box and got out everything and charged the
battery.

My gf called me at this point and I told her what I was up to, and
she said it’s already raining at her place (the photos won’t turn out
well if it rains). I went out and sure enough, dark skies abound. I
went back and told the camera guy that I needed it now, so forget about
charging the battery. He said that it wouldn’t last all that long,
since it has only had been charging for about 3 minutes, but I said
it’s okay, since I’m in a hurry. Well, off I ran and upon startup, it
was already showing the low battery indicator so I ran around, hoping
to get a shot of everything before the battery ran out – and I did. :)

Anyway, I’m sorry about the quality of the photos, I noticed that
the quality setting was at the default (Low) but the battery was so
drained I didn’t want to risk changing the settings instead of taking
more shots and having it die on me halfway. Anyway, the Nikon Coolpix
3500 seems okay, I like the way the lens fold out. I ran all over the
town square, taking photos until the “Battery Exhausted!” warning came
out. After that, I went back to the dealer, paid him RM 10, got my RM
100 and digicam back and he packaged the digicam back into the box,
probably to sell to another person. *shrug*

Well, I got home later and then thought of something – how was I
going to get the photos out of the CF Card? Windows won’t detect the CF
Card unless the digicam is on, and my digicam is broken (couldn’t even
turn it on). So off I went to the Fujifilm Imagng Center near my place
to get the photos burnt to a CD-R, which cost RM 6. I should have
bought a CF Card reader instead, since it was only RM 45, but I reckon
I don’t need one since it’s just a one time thing. So there you go,
photos from yesterday. :)

cdr.jpg

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