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Once again Kuching Waterfront came alive with throngs of people
Posted on : 31 Oct 2022  Source of News: Sarawak Voice

KUCHING: Once again, the Kuching Waterfront came alive with throngs of people gathered to watch the three-day Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta here yesterday (October 30).

Started on Friday (Oct 28), yesterday was the last day of the event which is an internationally recognised event that took place on the Sarawak River.

Locals as well as foreign teams raced against each other in their dragon boats and they competed in various race categories in their bid to win cash prizes and trophies.

The race is an affiliate event of the International Dragon Boat Federation and it attracts a lot of participants, foreigners and locals, every time it takes place in Kuching.

Nonetheless, although the race was the main highlight, local food and drink traders as well as handicraft sellers also basked in the race gala – making business on the sidelines.

One such handicraft seller was retiree Colin Low, 68, when met with his wife, Lillian, told me that they have had a license to conduct their business at the Kuching Waterfront from the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) for the past 20 years.

“We have our own regular place to carry out our business but during any events such as the dragon boat race or the regatta, we will sell our handicraft items along the Kuching Waterfront,” Colin said.

Colin showing thumbs up to one of his items

What surprised me a little was that his Sarawakian products were all “Made in China” and he said most of the local handicraft traders are already doing the same thing – sending their custom designs through an agent to China to be manufactured due to the cheaper labour costs.

“Most of us do that for the past few years – sending our own designs to China because if we were to get it all locally made, it would be very expensive.

“That is why we are all also selling our items at a much cheaper price. I went to Europe and almost everywhere, their Made in UK or Made in France have been manufactured by China.

“Now, we in Sarawak also have our products made by China. But, not all handicraft sellers are sending their designs to China. Most are still selling authentic Sarawak products but they are also quite expensive,” Colin disclosed.

On his customers, he added throughout his years as a trader, majority of their customers were locals or from Peninsular Malaysia.

“We don’t have many customers from the foreign countries. They are mostly locals and from the peninsula,” he said.

Rattan carpet seller, a Bidayuh woman from Bau, Jelina Fresia and her husband from Sirikin said her rattan handicrafts are all authentically Sarawakian products.

“No, we don’t send the designs of our items to China. All are being made by our local people which I sourced from the rural areas,” she said.

Jelina said the Chinese might not be doing justice to the local Sarawakian rattan handicrafts and she prefers to buy and source the products from the interior areas.

“All the rattan mats and items which my husband and I are selling are all authentic Sarawak products,” she assured.

Hence, while business were quite brisk for the traders, the crowd at the dragon boat race event were also not disappointed by the ongoing colours and sounds as they all cheered on the race from the sidelines.

The race ended successfully with fine sunny weather almost throughout the day.

Indeed, such events are always welcomed by the locals especially after the pandemic.