July 5, 2010

Disappearing Miri : Life Time Partnership

In my series "Disappearing Miri" I would like to include my observations of old timers' relationship in their sharing of their lives and  life long partnerships. A common strand in their lives is the sharing of a life long and common interest or hobby or a skill which in the first place brought them together.

 It has been a pleasure getting to know them.

 Mr and Mrs. Dan (formerly Shell staff) talked about their joy in farming when they gave me free and  beautiful rambutans (which is Australian $1.00 each in Melbourne). Mrs. Dan did most of the talking (not Mr. Dan) and related to me that it was good for her "laki" or husband to be involved in the garden. They have all sorts of equipment for farming which range from the traditional Iban parang to the sophisticated bush cutter.Together they will ride on their old and faithful motorbike to their farm about 10 miles away from Miri every day if possible.

Mr. Dan if given a chance to navigate the earth would have a GPS any time. But he is a natural. He does not need any navigation instrument here in Sarawak. He can drive or use his motorbike and go anywhere in the nearby jungle and his own plots of land. He and his wife would go out together and come home together. It is an admirable lifetime partnership. Both of them are past their 60's and have been married since their teens. They are indeed quite inseparable. And I have known them since I moved to Miri in 1987.

Life partnership means total devotion to each other and accepting both the ups and the downs. Nowadays besides going to their farm they are looking forward to visits from their children and in laws. But most important of all they really look forward to seeing their grandchildren. Their humble semi D in Lutong would always be open to them and friends from all walks of life.

"Tidak susah - cari makan sahaja...Senang ada Tuhan." Mrs. Dan is grateful in her heart and I think there is an important message there for all of us.

Looking around I don't really see much of this kind of long lifetime partnership amongst a lot of couples. One partner could be playing golf all day and the other partner watching a good drama series made in Taiwan!!

However if we really pay attention we can find some treasures of good life long partnerships. And here in the Miri Muhibbah Tamu I see one couple: so serene and making baskets together!

I believe this guy is one rare breed - there are not many who would like to pass time making intricate baskets like this in full public view in the tamu!! Kudos to him!

How many of us would have the joy of having the same hobbies and making a living together like this?

May God bless these two good people and all of you good people out there!!


Ann said...

These baskets are now made of plastic? My Ah Kung used to shave thin bamboo strips. Too bad he didn't pass the skill to me.

Sorry if I just did a post not so good about Miri. I posted that in 1995, you can't swim in the beach. What about now?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann
What a shame the skill was not passed down...I had to take a basketry course (in order to help some blind children) to learn to make baskets. And there was a competition to complete a basket! I came in second because this Foochow did not want to lose...I also have very strong fingers. A man won first prize (He's from Ministry of Social Welfare...that's many years ago.

There are now life guards at the Luak Beach...but another part not patrolled at all and that's where many of the deaths occurred in the past two years.

Daniel Yiek said...

I like the idea of "Disappearing Miri: ..."

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Daniel..How nice to hear from you....I think it is a good title too...I snapped some photos of Jalan Hainam and Jalan Hainam Lama....there are some stories there..and I am to some research...that's disappearing and before it is too late I must write the stories...

I think you have captured the soul and spirit of Sarikei very well and the folks in Sarikei have a definite character. Miri does not seem to have that...X factor. Things seem to be rther tacky. New Orleans for example would have its French Quarters and the Jazz bands...and the Mardi Gras...let's think about these things.

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