May 19, 2010

Young Long House Musicians

For months on end Iban longhouse folks only see their youngsters below the age of 7 and the very elderly.

The youth would be either boarders at school or are already working young adults (some work below the age of 18). Other adults would be far away working off shore (as far as Solomon Islands or Russia) and in fact some of the elders are still working in Bintulu or Miri. The women folks and the elderly have to keep "longhouse".

Last weekend I went to Rh. Chendang where the norms prevail. Most of the boarding students did not return home during the weekend because they were kept in the school for Teacher's Day.

However I was happy to see so many of the growing children especially those who are still in kindergarten and in the primary school nearby. Many are also attending a primary school further away where they are boarders. Three children are captured in these three photos. What will their future be like?

His grandmother looks after him. His parents are working in Ulu Kapit for a Chinese timber camp.

He is one of the youngest but already a good gong player. He beats a good timing.


Still sucking his "pepep" he sits with two nice "sisters". He can't wait to get his hand on the sticks to beat the gongs!!

May good music be played in the longhouse. May hope reign!

Children are the future of every race!

18 comments:

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, Wow! I love these longhouses. Always fascinated with the Orang Ulu, Iban longhouses.
I was fortunate enough long ago to visit really isolated ones that tourists don't go....even stayed few days too in a couple of them. And had fun. Thats where I learned not to fool around with that Tuak drink!
And I am or was a Whiskey drinker too.
But I must say, Orang Ulu women are some of the most exotic, beautiful women I have come across....in a way it was time constraint and my work, or else would have gone nuts over the few I knew, ha ha.
You have a nice day, Lee.
Ps, I have a beautiful Orang Ulu lady blogger friend I blogged before....we still keep in touch. As well a Sarawak Princess too.
If I am a bachelor.....? Ha ha ha. Lee.

Peter Yong said...

Pray for continious love and fellowship within Sarawak and other parts of Malaysia. Pray for unity among Malaysians to work together for a better future with quality education. Pray for more these children, some will grow up be pastors spreading the good news. I always admire photos of children, Chang Yi. Nice;

Bengbeng said...

the pic of the boy in red, i like it

fargowin said...

The truth hurts.

The Chinese or the yellow race is what brings progress. Just look at Asia……….is enough.

Whether they do it internationally or locally they will survive.

We can distinctly see the lowering of Malaysia standards of living as the percentage of Chinese in this country goes down.

In the 70s we were tops with 40 over percent of Chinese and today with only 25 percent we are far behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea.

Main reason is the number of such Chinese migrating to these countries - the best ones and rich ones.

Next ten years as the percentage goes even lower, we would be nearing Indonesia or Philippines.

Meanwhile enjoy your stay and the good time.

On the whole as the Chinese spreads out throughout the world, the average standards of these will have much higher standards of living over others.

aston said...

It is a sad story for both Sabah and Sarawak for joining Malaysia. Just look at Brunei and Singapore to see the answer.

Sabah and Sarawak is being raped by Malaya till dry, all the oil and timber from the two states is being used to finance all the failed projects and also to feed all the Umno zealots.

Ask the Iban and Kandazan, they are being marginalized. Now the government even want to make the country into an Islamic state, did Sabah and Sarawak agree to join an Islamic state in the first place?

September 16 is a day for mourning, a day of shame for Malaysia.

San said...

I am a Malaysian Chinese living in Hong Kong for the past 15 years. I am a professional and am completely integrated socially.

Looking at my HK born sons, I am glad they never have to contend with the petty racism of Malaysia. Life is too short for that. No need to worry about government jobs or lack of career progress or scholarships because of their race. They will fail or succeed on their own merits. That is a very liberating thought for a father. I have no great fortune to leave them, but I have given them a chance in a society they can call their own.

I have taught them to respect other peoples and races. And to stand up for their own rights. They should be proud of their Chinese root and not be chauvinistic.

As for Malaysia? Well, they don't know too much about it. It won't be an important country for them. Economically it is too tiny to figure much on the big picture. Several major cities in China already have living standards that exceed Malaysia. Guangdong province alone has a GDP several times that of Malaysia. And it is still growing fast.

I wish Malaysia well for the sake of my relatives still there, but I glad I am not there. Migrate if you can. The West is good and stable but China has opportunities too. Integration is so easy that within one generation - it is as if our ancestors have never gone away! Fast forward the all that years of civil war, cultural revolution and famine.

If you cannot emigrate, grumble freely and hope for better days.

jodie said...

Is the language diversity in our educational system a stumbling block to so-called national unity? Despite the insistence of this idea by the self-interested ruling elite, it is simply wrong.

And the common use of English did not stop Americans from fighting Britons in the War of Independence. And let us not forget the American Civil War - both sides spoke English.

And to the contrary, we see Europeans of different mother tongues coming together in a democratic manner to forge a united continent in the form of the multilingual European Union with common standards of human rights, governance and democracy.

English-speaking people with different mother tongues are also now living peacefully in five different sovereign and independent countries namely the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

It is time for the Malaysia ruling elite and their ideologues to stop spreading the voodoo of that language diversity hampers national unity.

The root cause of national disunity is none other than the existence of race-based political parties like Umno, MIC and MCA, which perpetuate race-based affirmative action policies and which only benefit the upper class BN gangs and their sons, daughters and cronies.

ruyom said...

The malays do not exist as a unique tribe but are the result of centuries of mix amongst various ethnic groups - migrants from Yunnan, Polynesia, Java, Sumatra, Turkey, Arabia, India, Siam, Cambodia, Laos.

Once they began to populate the Malayan Peninsula - (which wasn't named for the malay race but derives from the Tamil word for "mountain" - malai) they figured it would be advantageous to claim ownership of the land by dubbing it Tanah Melayu.

It was mostly a political part of various pirate bloodlines to create their own Promised Land.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Uncle Lee
Thanks for visiting! Really nice of you to write about your work and experiences in Sarawak the Land of the Hornbills. I am sure your two O.U lady friends have been cheering you up all this while...(wink)
They are beauties aren't they. This O.U group has indeed made a lot of inroads in international and global arenas.
Lots of smiles to you!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Peter
I totally agree with you. Children dedicated to God from an early age like Samuel will help the nations in good times and in bad times!!
Praise God.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Beng Beng
Thanks I have two more of him. He has a special aura about him....and committed to his gong!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Fargowin
Thanks for the insightful comment! The Chinese is a very hardworking race. Wherever they go they bring about market gardening first if they can. This is one of the most important things I admire of my people.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Aston
Sometimes I agree with my fellow Sarawakians of Iban origin - where have they gone wrong to suffer so much?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear San'
Thanks for the kind reminder. This spells out the need for the Chinese diaspora. Go where the going is good. And make as much money too and provide a better future for the next generation.
I am glad for China.
I am happy for you and your children.
Perhaps we all have our fates to live out too.
Remember the Chinese word for Opportunity? Out of chaos and danger is opportunity.....
It is important to upgrade at all times.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Jodie
It is not the language that divides. It is often the political stamina of the generation. Language is used as a tool of contention.

Many people for example know that English is a useful international language. However to preserve their own political beliefs (right or wrong) they use English as a tool to divide or to quarrel.
We only have to look at China's expanding and amazing super power to know that in the last 30 years they have produced more English speakers than many countries in Asia put together. Shanghai may be the world's most important sea port soon. This is just a tip of the iceberg! Perhaps in years to come Mainland Chinese English experts will help developing countries learn English or use English to change even countries Africa!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ruyom
Thanks for the interesting info. I learn something new today...Mountain is Malai in Tamil.

Yes there are indeed many bloodlines amongst the Malays.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cikgu
Wishing you and your family a Selamat Ari Gawai....Gayu Gerai Nyamai etc....

Blessings.

K

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi K
Nice to hear from you again....when you drive along the road back to your kampong please take care!
Blessings too.

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