May 24, 2011

The Simple Life Goes On in Belawai

A photographers' outing in Belawai reaped a huge harvest for my friends and I. Thanks to Steve Ling I had an opportunity to visit Tanjong Mani (part of SCORE)...in these early years you can still find some unchanging landscapes and natural beauty of our habitat..

So go before the seascapes and landscapes change beyond recognition. But I do hope the wisdom and lifestyle of the people of Belawai will remain in the future. We are proud of their culture and lifestyle. Their true worth is God sent.

An old relative of the proprietor spends time helping her cut raffia strings for her "barang" He comes every day to help out in the "canteen" without expecting a salary. "Canteen" is a local term used to mean a little supply shop. There is a growing number of Kedai Makan (Eateries) which serve the freshest of sea food. And you order according to your selection by the kilograms.


Patience is still in the heart of this old man.

Walking along the kampong road we met this lively old lady (who has cataracts)...she is well dressed and wearing the Melanau Tapao. Graceful as the wind!! And she is very helpful..answering our quesitons with grace and kindness.


Signs of modernity around her while she walks with nipah fronds in one hand and plastic bag in another.

She is going home with a bundle of young nipah leaves to make kuih.

Melanau Tapao - an excellent hat on a hot day.....The biru leaves used for making this hat is an endangered species now. Biru leaves can last a good 15 years or more!!




Another Melanau lady who has been weaving Melanau songket since 1991. Some of the songket (sarongs) sell at RM20 000! Their business is so good that they can only take orders. No one can buy as a walk in customer.
Adam - cutting nipah palm for a living. And a helpful and enthusiastic person who taught us a lesson or two about nipah palms.


A happy Melanau lady taking a rest - no prawns and fish today for drying and salting.....The hammock is a gift from her son....
Now with the road connected to Sibu --business is brisk....however at mid day the sun is too hot...she can rest and put her legs up!! (Literally) These little "gerai" or stalls sell freshly bbq fish and prawns. But a popular snack is the nipah leaf wrapped "pais" ikan or pais udang.

61 comments:

向日葵啊伯 said...

Belawai...visited twice in olden days.
Lasting memories...
1.Toilet under the big tree on the beach. Man! remember how we all used it!
2.Caught by the Kampong people for stealing their watermelons. Made us walked in the village with melons. Hahaha, nice people still gave us few melons to go back to the camp.
Nice people...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Peter...are you serious? Did you all do that..stealing water melons...and of course in the olden days...toilets were really quite something...it is so painful to think about them....now a small maggot can make me sleepless...just thinking about it...

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, I always love look thru your pics. And learning too about life where you are.
You are good with your camera, very creative shots too. Like seeing pics from National Geographic.
Have fun and keep that camera kliking.
Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi...thanks for dropping by..I was listening to your songs this morning but did not write a comment on your posting...hahaha...too many already and I got lost reading them all...and clicked and then I was back home in my blog to read your comment!! Thanks. What a nice thing to say to me. Best compliments ever!! (Nat. Geog one I mean).....thanks a bundle. That cheers me up. Me not recognised as a photographer at all...just someone who has a camera. Thanks buddy.

wenn said...

life goes on..

beng said...

woderful u went there too

Ann said...

That sack is potato? I bought 5 kgs last night. Don't like to buy too much because my son alone like it. But too much, they sprout and I throw them out.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Wenn
Life goes on...and it depends on where that place and how the people there get along and....move along..Sometimes time will stand still..and there is beauty in everything if we can see it.Cheers.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

BB...yes it was good I had a chance to go and learn more about photography and see more of Sarawak. Hope you get better with every day.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann
Potatoes come from China and India....in bags like those...we usually buy when we cook curry. Most of the times we don't eat that much potatoes....that's why it is called...Ang Mo Zhu...hahahahah.

jeffchan said...

rural life is a fantastic life.loved it...
anyway, d economy progression in rural area definitely needed more concern from d government n non-government organizations. hopefully, d road links between sibu and tanjung manis will be a good starting of it.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...potatoes from the Netherlands come in paper boxes..I think the packaging for Australian ones are different...have to do some investigating on this topic...cheer

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Jeff

Thanks for visiting my blog...yes I do hope SCORE will not change the people and culture of the area but only uplift their standard of living and quality of life.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for highlighting my village in your blog. the old man with the raffia strings is my grandfather. He has pass away a few month after these picture were taken and i think this is the only photo of him during his 80+ age. thanks brother cause I wasn't there when he died.

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