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STB chairman Joniston Bangkuai meeting with Sabah Indigenous Bosou Enterprise Association’s president Jiliah Situn (centre) to discuss about plans to organise global food forum highlighting ‘bosou’.

STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai being briefed by Sabah Indigenous Bosou Enterprise Association’s president Jiliah Situn on their ‘bosou’ production. Also in photo are STB deputy chief executive officer Julinus Jimit (right), STB MICE manager Normegawati Baiduri Sapian (left), and FeRTAS deputy president Ben Golimbi (2nd left).

KOTA KINABALU (Wednesday, Sept 6): There are plans afoot to organise a world food forum here next year, with a unique focus on indigenous food security systems.

The concept for this event took shape following a meeting between Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Sabah Indigenous Bosou Enterprise Association’s president Jiliah Situn on Tuesday.

Present were STB deputy chief executive officer Julinus Jimit, and STB MICE manager Normegawati Baiduri Sapian.

During the meeting, it was agreed that the proposed forum highlight and celebrate the essence of Sabah’s ‘bosou’ (traditional fermented delicacis) on the global stage.

‘Bosou’, an ancient and revered dish among the Kadazandusun people, holds a special place in the hearts of indigenous Sabahans.

“It is known for its unique preparation process and ingredients, setting it apart from similar ‘bosou’ dishes in other countries.

“Sabah’s ‘bosou’ has garnered international recognition when a UNESCO representative took notice in 2017,” Jiliah pointed out.

“The United Nations has also expressed interest in the Kadazandusun food system, recognising its importance in preserving cultural heritage and promoting sustainable indigenous food practices,” she added.

Jiliah also mentioned their goal of facilitating cross-cultural learning by inviting participants from other countries to share insights about their own ‘bosou’ dishes.

In response, Joniston advised the Sabah Indigenous Bosou Entrepreneurs Association to develop a comprehensive framework for the ‘bosou’ international food festival.

He said the STB is committed to supporting homegrown events that add value and draw international participants.

“This forum offers both local and international participants a valuable opportunity to exchange ‘bosou’ stories and their traditional preparation techniques passed down through generations.

“It will promote discussions on sustainable indigenous food systems, potentially fostering valuable insights and collaborations in agriculture and food production,” he said.

Joniston is optimistic that the proposed event has the potential to elevate tourism in Sabah by attracting tourists and culinary enthusiasts eager to experience the unique flavours of ‘bosou’ and learn about Sabah’s rich culture.

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