The highlight of Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) 2012

Every year the Sabah Cultural Centre in Penampang turns in an international extravaganza, complete with a transformation of the building, boasting a myriad of colours; I might even have seen water features installed at the front.

This year, Harrington Gaso of Papua New Guinea stole the show.

[Photo credit: SIFF Facebook page]

I was informed that on the evening of the 14th he was murmuring something (presumably in his native tongue), then suddenly shouted “ARAMAI TII”.

Then the next day, the finale, it was “INI KALI LAH”, to the utter bemusement of the audience which included VVIPs.

That’s not mentioning him seriously delaying the show that the organisers had to ask him to end his performance.

Daily Express later published an article which clarified that Harrington had learnt a few Sabahan phrases from an unidentified Sabah Tourism liaison officer, including “Ini Kali Lah”, but he had forgotten the actual meaning, or that it had a mildly sensitive political connotation.

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