I was privileged to participate in a rather biggie event today - officiation of another new Klinik 1 Malaysia just 5 minutes from where I live! Someone important is walking on the red carpet but she was blocked by a lot of heads in front of me so I decided to shoot these photographers instead. Perhaps Canon will buy this shot..? Wishful, wishful thinking, of course.
The new clinic was declared open by our deputy Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Datuk Rosnah Shirlin. She is a local girl hailing from none other than Papar. The new clinic is about 12 minutes from Papar town (40 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah). One thing I like about Malaysia - there is a fair share of women leading the country. Cheers, cheers!
I was given the task of looking after the food. Must've been obvious to them that I love food. However, I only helped to eat because the caterers were super efficient and I didn't even have to ask them to refill anybody's glass. Look how nicely they did up the tables and chairs. And they did it quietly and unhurriedly, so professional. The powers-that-be must've kicked themselves for giving me such an easy job. I had a FIELD day taking photos for my blog instead (plus a day off from work!). Red-ribbon settings are for the VIPs.
The event was open to the public and these "tapau" food are for them. "Tapau" is a ubiquitous term meaning take-away. It is a chinese word but used and understood by all races in Malaysia. KFC personnels : Maam, eating here or take-away?" Aunty Tooki : Tapau.
We had a LOT of entertainment. This makcik (aunty) was setting up her gongs. There were about 4 or 5 of these elderly ladies with sticks and big hanging gongs plus smaller ones laid out in a little special bench as shown. They were surprisingly energetic and forceful. I almost dropped my camera when they whacked their gongs without warning. Dour looking ladies - they could've at least smiled. She looked as if she wanted to whack me with her stick when I took her picture.
These young ones, on the other hand, were a different story. They smiled sweetly and posed readily when they realised that I was taking their pictures. Aren't they sweet? In China, don't pose with sweet costumed girls like these - they will charge you RMB10 for a shot with your, I repeat, your (not their) camera. The whole troop will pose with you and then afterwards they will say sweetly, "Oh, it's not RMB10 for a snapshot, it's for each person!" That will wipe the smile off anybody's face. No such thing in Sabah.
They are performing the sumazau, a cultural dance by the Kadazan-Dusun community. The dance varies from place to place and I love the Papar sumazau best of all. The attire is somewhat different (they sport long sleeves, for instance) and the steps are cute and graceful. The music always has me moving against my will. Very, very contagious. Next thing you know you will be on the stage dancing, taking a swig of their tapai (rice wine) and screaming "yeeeeeehaaaa". No, I've never done that before, just saying.
We also had a few singers to entertain us. Did butterfly belts make a comeback? Dogs have taken so much of my time I no longer know the meaning of the word fashion.
I also enjoyed looking at the ladies' headscarves. This one had shiny beads. She was holding a colorful "bunga manggar" normally used for weddings. When the VIP walks in the ladies will stand in line with their bunga manggar to welcome him/her. Just a decorative piece to spice up an event.
More colorful scarves as the ladies try to outdo one another. Young women wouldn't want to be caught dead with this style (with a sort of hood in front). According to one I know, these are for "aunties". I thought they looked pretty good. But then I am an aunty.
Little tots also did their act on stage -- cute. In the midst of all these activities, I forgot to take a shot of the most important thing. The clinic itself. I guess I got a bit side-tracked by all that entertainment.
However, I did get a picture of a goat grazing behind the clinic (afterall, this is a rural town). I thought that a photo of an animal is a must to qualify this post for petblogville. No photographers elbowed me for this shot. They were too busy snapping pictures of the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the front door. Yoohoo, goatie, look this way....mmm, love curry mutton!