Thursday, August 9, 2012

Alphabe-Thursday Letter L for longhouse

John Benet leading in the welcome.

See the planks, you need to be sure footed.
As we enter, we are given a button hole, and a shot of the infamous Iban Duak, Some call it fire water. I declined because I was already feeling tipsy from the heat and jet lag. I didn't want to fall into the water on my return trip.
The communal living area. The private areas are to the left, where they ahve the bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.

Traditionally, the Ibans were head hunters. Though this custom was stopped long ago, many long houses still keep the remains of the skull of their conquest of their enemies long time ago.
The banana tree depicts bountiful. At the end of the ceremony, they chopped the tree down signifying harvesting.

The headman, elders, and VIP guest perform the miring ceremony. Here, my student Ling Kie King represents us. A rooster is sacrificed.
The Ngajat dance, I don't think you need to be taught the steps, as my Kai Sister Magdeline says, the agung gong is memorising, and others suspect that it is the the fire water the duak that threw any inhibition our of the window. As for me, this was the first and probably the only chance I get to do this dance. I wanted my New Zealand students to share in the fun. The dance is very elegant as you can see our dance leader Awa. I just twirled my fingers. Wearing my Nyonya Kebaya set the mood.
You can see from the face of Da Mei and Ling Kie King that we had a great time.

Our own Real McCoy, Awa our Iban beauty.

Siblings Benson and Mag ah Lee, full of fun. That is why I love them.

Today Sarawak is rejoicing. Am I glad to be a Sarawakian. Fellow Sarawakian Pandelela Rinong anak Pamg (born 2 March 1993) is a Malaysian diver. She made Sarawak proud by being our flag bearer. She brought us to tears by becoming the first female Malaysian athlete to win a medal at the Olympics, and the first to win an Olympic medal in any sport other than Badminton,. Pandelela won the bronze in the 10m diving event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

I visited a longhouse last month as part of our reunion itinerary. The longhouse is the traditional hous eof the ibans, and as its name says, it is a very very long house. In the past, houses could be. 100 houses attached to each other, and the communical lounge runs the entire length of the house. Like the saying goes, a picture tells a 1000 words, I let my photos and the last few borrowed from fellow blogger and alumni Lim Chin Yong tell the story. Thanks Chin Yong.

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