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The union of Malaysia saw the independence of Sarawak and Sabah, two bordering states of the country, from the British, and come Sept. 16, it will celebrate its 50th year. Prior to the celebration, a dragon boat exhibition race will be held along the Sarawak River.

ECN-092013_INT_Sarawak-Regatta_Malaysia-(Rotator-300dpi-Web)An annual affair, the Sarawak Regatta attracts more than 6,000 paddlers who compete for the title of ‘Raja Sungai’ (River King) and bragging rights until the next race.

Come Sept. 7-8, the Sarawak Regatta will feature a dragon boat exhibition race with participation from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. Expect to see the Sarawak River brimmed with longboats, traditional war-boats, water-taxis, dragon boats and modern kayaks as well as rowboats of all colors, make and design, all for one purpose — to race each other in the name of unity and fun.

Known for its role in ending tribal hostilities and bringing harmony to Sarawak, the Sarawak Regatta is an important part of Sarawak culture. History tells of warring tribes who fought one another to the death over territory, pride and historical enmity. To divert such lusty energy away from violence, the colonial authorities created a river race of war boats or longboats, and they made it an event of peace and to celebrate the rowing prowess of the different tribes.

Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) is a non-profit company acting to bring Sarawak to the forefront as a competitive destination for international meetings.

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