July 6, 2009

Two Maps

The first map was drawn by Wong Meng Lei (Rajang Basin). He was visiting Hak Choon Nguong or New Nang Chong an area next to my maternal grandmother's Ah Nang Chong when he thought that a map would be good to help people remember their past and think about their future. In fact at this moment of writing I do not know of any other map which has been properly drawn for this area. (Perhaps there has been a government cartographic or geological map but due to the unstable political situation in the 60's and 70's maps of localised areas of Sarawak were not available to the public for security reasons.)

In secondary school map reading was mainly taught using maps of Alor Star, Kuala Terengganu and Telok Anson. We even used British topographical maps!

Sarawak has been known as a place where active internal and out- migration occur over the last 100 years. It is not surprising too that due to many factors thousands of Foochow people have already migrated from these Rajang villages to various other parts Sarawak and Malaysia and also other parts of the world. So this special map may conjure up lots of meaningful memories. In particular I myself feel closer to home when I can see the dots representing the villages I used to visit in the past.

Once a man had asked me if I were paid for all the research (on the Oral History of Sibu Foochows) I was doing. I answered him "No." And immediately he lost interest in me. He had "that look " on his face! But he did also comment that as I was not known to him (not famous) who would be reading my book if I ever got published....That was a "very big basin of cold water" on my face. But I have moved on with more than 1000 articles under my belt!!

However deep down in my heart I know my writing is worth more than the paper I am writing on. Even without remuneration I am motivated to write about my elders who had contributed sweat, tears and blood to the modern history of Sibu. Some documentation needs to be done by someone.

Are we going to draw a road map of our lives? We don't build pyramids and leave behind historically valuable hieroglyphics but at least we should leave for our future generation some photos and some articles and books.

Map by Meng Lei.

Road map from Kuching to Sibu


Greenspot said...


I think what you are doing is invaluable.

Keep it up!


天鵝江畔 said...

CY,our society need some ppl to work or write the local history in mission that is pricless.
About the Hak Choon Nguong you mentioned,I think old folks prefer Sing Nang Chong, Sing here means New.
South village (南村)somewhere around Chung Cheng Secondary School,because they moved from the opposite side of Rajang River ie Ensurai(located at North side).And then the new extension area called Chien Nang Chong(Chien = In front of-前南村), Siong Nang Chong(Siong = Upper-上南村),Tiong Nang Chong(Tiong = Middle-中南村),Ah Nang Chong(下南村Lower), Sing Nang Chong(新南村) was the latest developed village compared to previous Nang Chongs.

chang yi said...

Dear Greenspot
thanks for visiting. I value your support as always. Will interview more and write more definitely!!!

sarawakiana said...

Thanks for your support. I am glad to know that Sing Nang Chong comes after all the other Nang Chongs. I have beenwondering why the name is "Sing" or new after all the rest - Upper South Village, Middle South Village and Lower South Village.
Hope people will continue to allow me to record their stories.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if we could have maps of our villages drawn too...along the Baram or along the Skrang Rivers...
I have never seen a topo map of some Sarawak localities. I do wish my children are exposed to good geography teachers who use local knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Hi Can you review your blog characteristics to allow comments to be written by people who wish to use their real names? I have tried but I can only write as anonymous!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anon
Yes many people can draw maps of local areas. It really depends on whether they want to post on the Internet or not. Now that security is better in Sarawak it is ok to post maps on the Internet. But I am not sure about the terms and conditions of using topo maps of Sarawak. Probably have to ask the Education Department. As for Geography teachers' repertoire of maps for teaching physical geopgraphy I believe it is really up to their pro-active sensibilities. Many teachers depend on worksheets with model answers. And many do not wish to go too far out of the examination model papers too.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Jane
Thanks for writing. I will check out the comment page characteristics and edit when I can....
Looking forward to your views and comments.God bless.

Anonymous said...

I spent almost my entire childhood at Nang Chong. Of course, this was many, many years ago. Your map of the area brought back a lot of memories. It was the first detail map of the area I have ever came across. Congratulations and well done!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous
Thank you. And on behalf of ML - thank you too.
Perhaps you can share with us your memories. Do write to our email address if you are too shy.

I am collecting stories of Nang Chong and 16 Company at the moment. Not easy feat!

thanks. Do visit again.

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