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!

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!

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).

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). ;)

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. :)

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