The houses of Sarawak



The Malaysian State of Sarawak, also known as the land of hornbills (known as Kalaw in the Philippines) is known for its diverse ethnicity. Akin to the former Nayong Pilipino, Sarawak boasts of its Sarawak Cultural Village that features Sarawak's multi-ethnic culture, heritage, and tradition.

The people of Sarawak is composed of the tribes of Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Melanau and other minor tribes. This includes the Malays, Chinese and Indians. Among the states of federal Malaysia, Sarawak enjoys relatively harmonious cultures.

Sarawak is known for its longhouses. However, it would be more appropriate for this blog to just use the term "house" in deference to other houses that are not "long". I am just glad to share a sneak preview of the different houses of Sarawak.

Houses of Sarawak
RUMAH MELAYU (Malay House) is very much similar to typical Filipino houses in the provinces.

Houses of Sarawak
RUMAH BIDAYUH


Houses of Sarawak
RUMAH PENAN

Houses of Sarawak
RUMAH ORANG ULU

Houses of Sarawak
RUMAH MELANAU is huge akin to Noah's ark. An entire clan can live here.

Houses of Sarawak
RUMAH IBAN 

The Sarawak Cultural Village is located at the foot of Mount Santubong, 35 kilometers north of Kuching City. This living museum depicts the rich culture and heritage of the people of Sarawak where one can see, commune with the different ethnic groups and experience different cultures in a day.

Visiting these houses made me more appreciate our neighbor's culture and heritage. Malay culture is one of the closest among other Southeast Asian countries that has similarities to Filipino heritage not only in terms of architecture but also in terms of language and way of life. This opportunity to know them made me more understand our heritage. Having seen the Melayu house, for example, made the link between Malay and Filipino cultures more concrete.

Keeping one's heritage is one of the most challenging parts of any culture. Save for the various efforts of the government like that of Sarawak that helps keep the heritage alive. One needs to be always in touch with one's heritage while keeping up with the challenges of the times.

Watch out for succeeding posts for more stories on the different houses/ longhouses of Sarawak soon!



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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

2 comments :

Bonzenti | Con Tour Blog said...

Yan dapat ang gawin ng ating Government. Preserving our heritage. That is a tough challenge to us Filipinos. Galing nung RUMAH BIDAYUH na bahay...

Ding Fuellos said...

I agree with you Bonz. Sana they can revive the Nayong Pilipino.