It is here that I got to know that mats were made from more than three different kinds of materials - the rattan and the bemban ....and now the Senggan and keropok.
Sungai Utik, literally meaning white river, is the name of the river where the residents bathe and wash. There are two nearby river banks covered with clean white sand. The water is clear except when hard rain in the evening brings mud from higher places.
"The longhouse in Borneo is often in conflict : a community under one roof inside and potentially threatened by socio economic development and threats outside. While the political leaders try their best to protect the welfare of the people the forces of outsiders like illegal logging and rapid technological changes continually beat upon our roof of social stability. This is our common struggle and we have to seek a balance. If not we might cease to exist one day. That would be very sad and we as the educated Dayaks would be remembered by our future generations in this sad manner" one of my new acquaintances told me.
A story within a story unfolded as I got to know the people of this longhouse. It is an amazing tale!!
This man is the Pala Adat or Head of the Law and Customs of this area. His late brother Rawing migrated to Sarawak and married a beautiful Iban lady from Pulau Melayu of Limbang called Imore. The late Rawing was thus related to me by marriage!! I found a relative in Sg. Utik!
Over the roof is a solar panel. And then there is the more obvious 21st century icon : an Indonesian TV satellite dish.
Time will tell the truth.
And then as I drove away in the convoy I realised that in the ancient days my Chinese heroes had proclaimed " All men are brothers and ........the four seas are our home". Can we make our earth better by being better citizens of the world?