Sarawak Regatta – Distinct Historical and Cultural Significant to Sarawak Tolerance and Harmonious Living.
(Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia)
Early Edition Of Sarawak Regatta
Sarawak Regatta is an annual traditional boat race held at Kuching Waterfront in Kuching, Sarawak. The event which attracts participation from government bodies, private and also international participants has a distinct historical and cultural significant in the history of Sarawak people.
The regatta is organised by the Kuching Resident Office and is normally held in the month of September in conjunction with the Malaysia day Celebration. The earliest known record of the event being held could be found in The Sarawak Gazette; on the 29th February 1872, which were held in front of the Astana, Kuching.
During the Brooke’s ruling era a boat race would be held to bring peace among the various ethnic races in Sarawak. An indication provided in the Sarawak Gazette showed that the event has been an important social event for social integration and goodwill for the people of Sarawak.
The Sarawak Regatta is divided into different category and group. They are the Balok Boat, Bidar Boat, Kenyalang Boat and Tambang Boat-motorised and non-motorised. The decorative colourful designed longboats can accommodate from 7 and up to 30 paddlers, depending on the competition category.
The Balok Boat is manned by 7 men paddlers, while the Bidar Boat is manned by 10 to 30 paddlers based on the category being competed. The Kenyalang Boat is manned by 10 to 20 paddlers depending on the competition requirement. The events attract participations from both individual and group from private, companies and also government department.
The Regatta is one of the top tourist attraction events in Kuching, beside the Rainforest Music Festival. This Sarawak Regatta will be continue to be held annually not only for tourist attraction but also as a reminder of how peace and harmony be maintained among the people of Sarawak, regardless of race and religion. This yearly event always attracts lot of audiences both local and foreigners.