TUARAN: The Sabah Lotud Development Association (SALDA) is inviting all Lotuds to participate in a competition to write folktales and legends (tatangon) of the community. The decision to organise the competition was decided by the SALDA Committee, chaired by its Chairman and founder, Raymond Tombung, in an online meeting on June 5.
The Organising Secretary, Anastasia Ansayoh Ogos, said that the purpose of the competition is to raise awareness of, and love for, the Lotud’s oral literary heritage.
“It is sad that the new generation is no longer having knowledge of the ancient stories because verbal story telling is no longer practiced like in the old days,” Ansayoh said. “So the best way to keep the beautiful stories alive is to document them in writing.”
She said that in order to attract participation, SALDA is offering very attractive prices to winners, that is RM2,000 to the champion, RM1,500 and RM1,000 to runners-up besides trophies and certificates. All writers whose stories will be included in the anthology to be published after the competition will be rewarded RM350 appreciation cash gift each and given two copies of the anthology.
Ansayoh is worried that not many of the folktales can still be remembered. “Even the remaining Lotud elders mostly do not remember most of the stories. The old great legends and mythologies which once took seven nights in a row to relate are now totally lost forever,” she lamented. “It is a great loss knowing that those tales of Ta’il Bulawan and Monur Ngaran are in the same class as the epics of many countries.”
Ansayoh, who herself is a wellknown literary writer, said that to the Lotuds Ta’il Bulawan was an extremely beautiful heroine and Monur Ngaran was a most handsome and powerful hero of fantastic exploits in battles.
“I still remember that in the 1950s my mother and other elders used to tell us the stories before bedtime,” she reminisced. “But now the storytellers are all gone and took the stories with them. What a pity that at that time we didn’t even think of writing them down.
“We hope that this competition will have sufficient responses from the young generation who will make the effort to find the stories from elders and write them down for the sake of future generations,” she said. “We in SALDA also appeal to local and state leaders to give moral and material support for the success of the event.
Ansayoh informs that the competition will close on August 31, and all submissions and inquiries should be submitted to her in PDF and Microsift Word via her Whatsapp number 012-8670261.