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The Sarawakian Ethnic Ways of Life

Updated on September 8, 2009

Simply Simple ways of lifestyle

I'm a Sarawakian, one of the biggest state in Malaysia. My tribe is called " Salako ", one of the few sub-tribe that is categories under the Bidayuh tribes in Sarawak. To know more about the Bidayuh communities, there is a book about our tribes written by Dr. Chang Pat Poh, who can be contact through his e-mail, Dr. Chang books about the Bidayuh tribes in Sarawak were publish in 2002.

I'm not going to talked about the history of our tribes or ethnic. I'm focusing on the lifestyle of the Salako, that is my ethnic. I'm proud to be a Salako. Actually, in terms of langauge, the Salako langauge is far different from the other Bidayuh tribes.

In this modern days, our tribes is not far different from other comunities that have advance in terms of education and ways of life in Malaysia. We lives in villagers that we called " kamphonkh ". Before we lives in longhouses, but nowadays, mostly we built our houses on our own land. There is only three Salako longhouses still standing, and preserved as an heritage to our tribes. The Salako tribe can only be found in Lundu and Sematan district, in Sarawak.

Most of our older generation is a farmer, and only a few are goverment servant. But nowadays, the younger generation, especially with free education that is offered by the Malaysian goverment, are working either with the goverment, or with the private sector, and most of our lifestyle change alot. Beside this, most of our young generation nowadays are involed in inter marriage.

Talks about Salako lifestyle, most of us now embrace Christianity as our religion, although some embrace Islam, mainly through inter marriage, and a few still pagans. In the village, we still rear chickens and pigs, that still roam around, although some rear this animals in cages, especially pigs, to avoid their nuisane. All this animals that we breed is local, and we feeds this animals with the resourses that we plant our own, seldom with feed stock.

At home, we are not allowed to use shoes and slippers. Our main stapple foods is rice, and that we always make sure that we have enough stock of rice, and this make it is a must for us to plant paddy once a year. We are lucky to be born and lives in the tropical climate, because everything that we needs can be easily grown, and nature provide us with plenty of foods, such as wilds vegetables products, as an example bamboo shoots and edible ferns.

Talks about foods, we doesn't needs much ingredients to cooks. As long there is a salt, a bits of monosodium glutamate, a fews pieces of onion and garlic, plus a bit of chillie, thats is enough. Simply simple foods means, most of our foods we cooked with lots of soup, or by grilling, especially meats and fish. To make foods much tastier, we cooked its inside the bamboo, wow...its wonderfull.

We also brewed our own achololic drinks, thats is rice wain we call " tuak ", and with the chinese influnce, we also brewed a very strong liquor drinks that we called " langkau ". This drinks usually we serve on special occassion, espacially during our harvest festival that we call " Gawai Dayak ", that we celebrate once in a year, wedding reception, or any other special occassion.

Before, during our great grand parents, we really lives in such a simple ways of lives, but nowadays, because of the modernise world, we also began to change our lifestyle. Most thing that we needs we made it ourselves, with a simple technologies, like making matress with rattan or other nature products, and thankfully until todays we still practice this simple knowledge.

I'm also feel proud with the Sarawak goverment that build a life muzium that is " The Sarawak Culture Village ", that preserve all the ethnic cultures and lifestyle of Sarawak. To me, this place is a must for every tourist to visit when they come to Sarawak for a short trip.


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      crystal ixora 8 years ago

      rami2 dirik join ka nangkat salako..babaatn bala dirik...jek nang

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      dylind 8 years ago

      Never seen ur face b4 in nangkat salako

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      monica  9 years ago

      jek la drk sabaya baya ngangkat bansa drk salako nyian supaya anak kan pupus d tan't jaman...