Celebrating Harvest Festival: An In-Depth Exploration of Kadazandusun Culture through WikiKaamatan 2024

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Jjurieee, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

WikiKaamatan 2024 was held on the 30th and 31st of May 2024 at Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia. This is the second year Kent Wiki Club has held a programme like this. The objectives of this programme are as follows:

  • Provide exposure and encourage the community in contributing knowledge related to Kadazandusun cultural heritage through the Wikimedia platform.
  • Elevate the Kadazandusun language so that it is recognized at the global level.
  • Preserving and documenting the culture of the Kadazandusun community.
  • Promoting the launch of the Kadazandusun Language Wikipedia to the Kadazandusun community.
Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A total of 35 members of the Kent Wiki Club and 2 volunteers from the Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia (WCUGM) who acted as guides and monitors were involved in this programme.

Activities held

The WikiKaamatan 2024 programme primarily focused on two Wikimedia projects which are Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary. Nine members of the Kent Wiki Club were dedicated to hosting a Wikimedia Commons workshop for visitors. They guided new users in creating accounts and taught them how to upload images to Wikimedia Commons and also policies of contributing to Wikimedia Commons. The Kent Wiki Club also encouraged participants to document activities around the KDCA area. Other club members were tasked with moving around KDCA to document existing cultural elements for Wikimedia Commons as well.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Regarding the Wiktionary project, workshops were held for new visitors. Those who contributed five words to the Malay or English Wiktionary received goodies from the Kent Wiki Club. In addition to the focus on the Kadazandusun language, the event successfully included many lesser-known indigenous languages in Wiktionary, such as Kimaragang and Rumanau.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A quiz game in the Kadazandusun language, prepared by the Kent Wiki Club, was held to engage visitors and increase participation. Additionally, a mini exhibition showcasing traditional Kadazandusun games and culture was also part of the event.

result & lesson learnt

WikiKaamatan 2024 has achieved more than the target set in the programme with a total of 1788 uploads on Wikimedia Commons. The pictures relate to traditional aspects of local culture such as clothing, dance, musical instruments, tools, food and art. The programme has also added 313 new pages and 501 pages on Wiktionary. The added vocabulary is from Kadazandusun, Kimaragang, Rumanau and many other local languages. This initiative successfully attracted 390 visitors who came within two days, offering a high interest in documenting the digital culture of Kadazandusun.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition, as many as 70 editors participated throughout the programme, showing the community’s commitment to preserving and honouring their cultural heritage on the world stage. This active participation helps in popularising the use of the Wikimedia projects for the purposes of education and cultural preservation. In particular, the introduction to the birth of the Kadazandusun Wikipedia, which is seen as the originator of articles in the mother tongue.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Overall, WikiKaamatan 2024 has successfully achieved its objectives by introducing and encouraging the Kadazandusun community to be involved in the production of digital content related to local culture in the wikimedia project. This not only helps in preserving the cultural heritage but also in introducing the culture to the global level.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learning from WikiKaamatan 2024

  1. Importance of Digital Documentation: Through the achievement of 1788 uploads on Wikimedia Commons, Kent Wiki Club can understand how important digital documentation is in preserving and promoting cultural heritage. This digital documentation not only facilitates access to information but also ensures that the cultural heritage can be inherited by future generations.
  2. Community Response: With the active participation of 70 editors and 390 visitors, it is clear that there is a high interest among the community in the digitisation of culture. This shows that this kind of programme is well received and should be continued and expanded in the future.
  3. Increased Language Awareness: An additional 313 new pages and 501 edited pages on Wiktionary show awareness and interest in the use and preservation of local languages ​​such as Kadazandusun, Kimaragang, and Rumanau. The Kent Wiki Club needs to continue to focus on activities that can increase awareness and use of the local language in the community.
Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Improvement:

  1. Broader Community Involvement: The WikiKaamatan programme needs to increase the involvement of more community groups such as schools, universities, and local cultural associations. This can be achieved through a wider outreach programme, including briefing sessions and workshops in various locations. By involving more educational institutions and cultural organisations, the programme can attract more participants who may not be able to attend KDCA. This move not only expands the reach of the programme but also ensures that more individuals and groups benefit from Kadazandusun’s cultural digitization initiative.
  2. Wider Promotion: To increase public awareness of the WikiKaamatan programme, promotional efforts need to be intensified through social media, newspapers, and local radio. Attractive promotional videos can be distributed through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to attract the attention of young people and digital users. Effective promotion can ensure that more people are aware of the existence of this programme and participate in it, while increasing the number of visitors and participants involved in the activities held.
  3. Content Quality and Sustainability: The quality of images and information uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary needs to be high and relevant. To achieve this, content review and evaluation sessions by cultural experts and linguists should be held before the content is uploaded. This will ensure that the information disseminated is accurate and informative. By ensuring high quality, this programme can preserve and document Kadazandusun culture in a more effective and meaningful way.
  4. Volunteer Capacity Development: Training and support for volunteers should be increased to make them more skilled and competitive. Regular training sessions and capacity building workshops can help volunteers better understand their duties and carry out their responsibilities more effectively. By improving the skills and knowledge of volunteers, the WikiKaamatan programme can run more smoothly and achieve better results.
Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Feedbacks received during WikiKaamatan 2024 from visitors were overwhelmingly positive, demonstrated by the significant increase in uploads and page edits. This indicates the programme’s effectiveness and the community’s enthusiastic response. Activities like quizzes and interactive workshops were particularly appreciated for successfully engaging visitors and promoting the digitalisation of culture. These positive feedbacks confirm that the programme is heading in the right direction and should be continued and enhanced in the future.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kent Wiki Club aspires to attract global interest through the digitisation of Kadazandusun culture, aiding in its preservation and international promotion. The goal is for the Kadazandusun Wikipedia to grow rapidly and be widely utilized, not only within Malaysia but also by the Kadazandusun diaspora worldwide. This would help the culture gain global recognition and appreciation, supporting broader cultural preservation efforts. Additionally, the club aims to involve more young people in these digitisation efforts to ensure the programme’s continuity and relevance. Engaging the youth will help guarantee that cultural preservation efforts persist and are passed down to future generations. The WikiKaamatan programme plans to offer more activities and programmes, such as creative workshops and digital competitions, to attract young participants and encourage their involvement in preserving cultural heritage.

Other link:

Wikikaamatan meta Page: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Event:WikiKaamatan_2024 

Meta KWK: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Kelab_Wiki_Kent

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