By Jeremy Khalil on April 20, 2015
Following on the very first successful crowd last year, Department of Culture and Arts once again held Nasi Ambeng Festival for the second time at Banghuris Homestay, Kampung Hulu Chuchoh, Sungai Pelek, Sepang last 17-18 April 2015. This time around, a number of representatives of media organisations and bloggers were given a chance to personally witness the demonstration of Nasi Ambeng made by the locals.
The name Banghuris is an acronym derived from the name of three different villages that participate in the homestay programme: Kampung Bukit Bangkong, Hulu Chuchoh and Hulu Teris. Banghuris homestay is well known among exchange students from various countries like Korea, Japan and Switzerland. It also attracts travellers who seek to escape city life and live among its residents and become part of their families.
Besides highlighting Nasi Ambeng dish during the festival, The Department of Culture and Arts of Malaysia also promoted other traditional dishes such as tumtuman (banana steamed with flour), lemik (tapioca steamed) and sambal hijau (green savory gravy).
Various activities and items were showcased during the festival: classic motorcycle competition, fishing competition and traditional games, including homemade food and crafts sold by FAMA, MARDI, Department of Agriculture and small industries. The Nasi Ambeng festival also incorporated traditional Malay games like galah panjang and the opportunity to stay together with one of the families that participate in the homestay programme.
The festival also saw the presentation of cempuling performance conducted by the residents of Banghuris. Cempuling is a traditional show originated from Java. The name comes from the combination of the word cem – the truncation of the word “macam-macam” (variety) – together with the word pul from the word “berkumpul” (gathering) and ling, which means “ingat-mengingati” (to remind each other). In short, cempuling stands for a variety of performances for a huge crowd that includes everybody from all walks of life.
The highlight of this festival was the closing ceremony of the Nasi Ambeng Festival by Dr Junaida Lee Abdullah, the Deputy Secretary General (Management & Monitoring) for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, who declared the closing of the event. It was that followed by performances by popular local artistes such as Noraniza Idris, Black Mentor and Raftah Bachik while the public members were enjoying Nasi Ambeng. The public were also treated to the Javanese traditional dance called Tarian Soblang Sari, performed by children from Tunas Seri Cemerlang kindergarten.
The Banghuris community, comprising residents of Javanese descent, are friendly and they wholeheartedly welcomed visitors to the festival – they even went as far as making sure that all tourists and visitors did not leave the festival without bringing back substantial food. The festival has surely made its mark as one of the most anticipated events in Selangor.