Saturday, December 29, 2007

A gathering of the Niah clan at the wedding reception of ichit Aki Pasang

Last nite, 28 Dec 2007, was indeed a gathering of the Niah clan comprising amongst others, the anak, menantu, uchu and ichit of Aki Pasang, Ini Sudan and Aki Narang, and kaban belayan of Rh Daud, Niah. The occasion was the wedding of Phylis Gali, eldest daughter of Gali Raing from Banting and Rosaline Nangan ak Ngumbang, the eldest grand daughter of the late Aki TR Pasang.Rosaline Nangan is my 2nd cousin, her Aki Pasang is my grandma Sudan's brother.

The wedding was held at Marriot, Miri and dadi, Igat and I left Bintulu at mid morning and stopped over at Dut's in Niah for lunch. These were what we had for lunch - daun ubi guring, pansuh keli, tunu keli, upak kechala, chabi guring gulai belachan.. semua nyamai magang.. Pi and Met, anang meliur seduai meda au...
Upak Kechala

Daun ubi guring

Tunu keli

Ika, aka Apak Agum to my children

My sister, Dut, or as my children call her, Indai Besai


Igat, Insol and Liman (Insol & Liman tu uchu Dut)relishing the keli tunu

We set off for Miri at about 2.00 pm and checked into the Marriot.Baka nuan aku Pi, sama bc tamagotchi to feed, 2 huge ones, so we went to look for some place to have tea b4 going to the saloon. I wasn't keen on Coffee Bean, we've had more than enough cakes for Christmas, so Igat made the choice, we went to McD.. dadi and I had banana pies with coffee and Igat, apple pie and ice lemon tea. I smsed Sebugey and she was at a hair saloon somewhere .. dadi and I headed to Alan & Serina at Bintang Plaza and had our hair wash and in my case, ngaga tansang manyi mimit ba belakang, ngambi buok enda flat... I was not satisfied with the results though, pama agi enti aku blow ke diri ku aku...

Udah nya berumban-rumban pulai mandi and begari. Sida Dut,Lily & Sebugey ngelagu aku meda aku enda tumu datai, kumbai sida ia ka tama ballroom sereta enggau bride & groom. But we got there a good 15 minutes b4 the function was supposed to start and here are some of the pictures we took of the happy occasion.
The bridal party


The bride and groom

Apai, indai & aki Urang Indu

Bala uchu & ichit Runai, petunggal Ini Sudan

My uncle Vincent Ngumbang, the only child of Aki Pasang

Menantu, uchu & ichit Aki Pasang

Bala uchu & ichit Aki Narang

Bala uchu and Ichit ini Sudan

Aku & menantu Ini Sudan, Datin Tili

Uchu Sudan Sebugey, or Kumang Gelong with her Keling Menua


Another sanpshot of Kumang Gelong and her Keling Menua


Uchu Sudan, with my keling Temuda

My cousin, Thony Badak, aka Ambai Kumang & his Keligit. Thony is uchu Ini Seda, Ini Sudan's 1st cousin

DJ ari Rh Daud, Ramala Rais (uchu Runai) and Francis Geraman (uchu Seda)


Mother and son

Father and son

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas pictures for Daphne

Dearest Pi, you were not with us in person for Christmas but as always, we carried you in our hearts. I post here several pictures taken on Xmas nite when relatives, friends and colleagues from the office came to ngabang to our house. Dad took quite a no of pic of our guests but many did not turn out ok. Enti aku ngambi, ketegal ka aku enda tech savvy ku kita..

Met has some photos of our Xmas eve dinner at Atiyi and our visit to Tuai ; hopefully Met will post them on her blog for you to see. She took pictures of Laga and Tinggi to show you.

God bless.. and do expect another parcel, dad and Igat had just came back from the post office to send another parcel for you.

LOL, mom.













Thursday, December 13, 2007

Akai dai, aku nemuai ngagai apai tuai Jawa bejanggut baka ulama Pas di Samarinda!




Yes, I'm back home from a week of market research and promotion to Pontianak, Balikpapan and Samarinda. If you have problem with your geography, these three cities are in Kalimantan. Pontianak is the capital of West Kalimanatan or Kalbar (which stands for Kalimantan Barat), Balikpapan is in East Kalimantan or Kaltim (Kalimantan Timur) and Samarinda is the capital of Kaltim.

My first trip to Pontianak was in 1990. Then dilapidated huts made of bamboo and palm leaves lined the main street leading to the city. Plots of sawah padi were tucked behind the huts and people bathed by the roadside, mandi ai parit. What I remembered of the city was the dust, lots and lots of beca and grimy shophouses. So when we left Kuching via Batavia Air to Pontianak last week, it was not without some amount of trepidation on my part. Kena aku menyamai ati diri, aku lalu madahka ka pin enda, udah pengawa. Ukai aku aja kin, tang CEO kami bc enggau and dua iku pemesai ari sister company kami nyengkaum nembiak aku empu bc enggau - 5 iku kami.

Pontianak ke maya tu jauh amat udah berubah. Bisi kedai, shopping mall & nadai agi langkau umai tauka sawah semak pasar.Jauh udah maju, muti agi kamah gaya bandar enti dibanding enggau kitai ditu. Kami diau ba Hotel Santika, kira ke 3 star hotel lalu Consul Malaysia, En Aznor Mahat, nguluka kami betemu enggau kempeni & upis ke deka di lawa din. Ba dialogue ke dia atur enggau Malaysian oil palm planters lemai siti, there were about 30 who came and one of them was an Iban from Kapit, an estate manager with Sime Plantations.

Siku ari sida ke datai bansa tambi (bc lima enam iku sida tambi ari Malaya)Maya sida ka mupuk, tambi nya (bc berumur 50 taun) lalu nanya aku, nanya ka ari ni penatai, laban iya sigi nyangka aku ukai indu laut Malaya. Kebuah pia, iya udah ninga aku bejaku - aku nyadi Mary Bajang enda lama, ngelaluka penatai bala temuai, introduce CEO kami lalu udah CEO tembu meri presentation, nyadi Mary Bajang enda lama baru ga, maya CEO nyuaka tanda pengingat ngagai Consul. Aku nyaut apai tuai tambi nya, madahka diri Iban ari Sarawak, nya ia bc nyebut utai manah ba aku. Ukai nundi aku iya. Nya meh, lebuh ke bejalaika pengawa, kadang-kadang bc utai nyadi ke tau ngerangsingka ati, kadang-kadang bc ga utai ngasuh kitai bingung.

Aku nadai shopping ba Pontianak, laban kain sutera ke manah ka buya mar. Muti aku bc meli kain songket Palembang. Kenu ku bini Consul, songket Palembang sigi tebilang, laban ia alus amat. Aku meli selayah, ka di frame aku, ila ngantung ba dinding. Tu churak kain, ia ke gadung bekilat di pegai bini Consul ke duduk sepiak aku. Indu ke bajik semak CEO kami nya ke datai ngagai hotel nyual songket ngagai kami.Nama iya Linda, ia bisi darah Pashtun ari Pakistan.


Ari siti kami ngagai Balikpapan tang meh to go there we had to fly to Jakarta. We flew Garuda and the flight from Jakarta to Balikpapan was less than 3 hrs. Balikpapan sama time zone enggau kitai di Malaysia.Balikpapan was indeed a pleasant surprise. Bandar nya beresi amat, bc kayu and bungai ditanam sebelah tengah & tisi jalai. Bangunan ia lawa, mayuh atap sida ia lunchung ke atas, nunda gaya arhitecture Belanda. Bangunan baru-baru, jalai besai & beresi, nya meh mayuh amat eating outlets ke classy, ukai utai ke kedai makai pia aja. Balikpapan tu seaside city, bordered on one side by the Straits of Makassar.

Kenu ku industry players ke enggau kami betemu, Balikpapan is the cleanest city in Indonesia and urang ke diau dia mayuh cultured, educated people. Kebuah pia, laban Balikpapan tu endur kempeni minyak Indonesia, Pertamina, nudukka logi minyak bepuluh taun ti ke udah.Nya alai mayuh urang datai gawa din, nyengkaum urang kulit burak. Tu ke ngasuh utai din jauh lebih maju, beresi, itah enda baka Miri meh, nyadi cultured city beduduk ari pemayuh bansa luar ke gawa enggau Shell, mai adat basa enggau chara pengidup sida ke maju ngagai menua ke baru numbuhka diri. Pertamina nirika rumah endur bala pekerja iya diau, ngaga endur rekreasi, nirika sepital, enggau mayuh utai ke dipeguna bukai. Tu sekeda gambar Balikpapan. Aku enda tentu ulih ngambar laban kami berumban ngagai one appointment to another.3 iti gambar ke dudi tu sekeda ari bangunan ba Samarinda.


a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rD_E82TkufY/R2FVgGSlF-I/AAAAAAAAACM/JwxI-aQ2asE/s1600-h/PC100166.JPG">




Kami ke Samarinda ari siti. Penyauh Samarinda lebih kurang 2 jam 20 minit ngena kerita. Din urang ke enggau kami betemu nya ke baka ulama Pas ku aku tadi. Nya, peda kita gambar ke terubah di engkah aku ba pun posting tu. Nama iya Masum Abdullah Mohd, kepala DINAS Pekebunan - tauka Land Development Board enti dipulaika ngagai jaku urang putih. CEO enda enggau kami ke Balikpapan & Samarinda, laban iya bc pengawa di Labuan, tang kami disempulang Consul Malaysia (ia ke duduk tengah-tengah ngena kot ba gambar kedua di atas). Pak Masum benung baum ba bilik siti maya kami datai, kami nganti bc 10 minit, nya baru iya pansut nunga kami. Kami lalu ka buya techenggang magang, meda gaya iya begari, enggau janggut, enggau enda nabi aku laban ke indu, sigi nemu aku langkan iya urang Islamic fundamentalist. Rawan ati aku, enggaika iya enggai bekerjasama meri information ketegal aku ke indu, maklum sida selam sigi meda urang indu baruh ari urang lelaki, udah ga aku kapil munyi ku sida. Kenu ku Sudan, enti bala Malaysian students ngena gari ke bc ngayan ke tubuh mimit tauka ngechat buok, di kumbai sida pengajar "jelek" (jai ku kitai). Berasai aku tu di kumbai iya jelek ketegal ke enda betudung ku ati aku din. Modest ga asai gari aku, shantung ala kurung moden. Dear Lord Jesus, come to my aid, ku aku.

Mula iya Pak Masum duduk ba kerusi ke tinggi agi, laban kerusi ke baruh mula ia enda chukup, nya ku iya "saya duduk di kerusi yg lebih tinggi bukan beerti saya lebih tinggi drp bapak2 dan ibu". Oops, ku aku, bc basa apai tuai tu, jaga2 aku bejaku lagi, enggai ka enda baruh didinga iya, ku ati aku din. Iya lalu nanya ke pejalai kami, aku lalu nyaut. Udah nya pemesai ari sister company kami lalu nerangka facilities sawit kami di Bintulu. Udah nya baru Pak Masum madahka batang penguji ke nuntung sida ia ngemajuka kelapa sawit din sigi ari smearing campaign bala NGOs, ke udu mantah perintah ke munaska temuda & kampung puang ngambika bc endur betanamka sawit. Pak Masum nusi diri bedailog enggau bala NGO enggau pengajar ari siti universiti tebilang di Indonesia. Dailog nya kira belaban penemu senentang pemanah enggau penyai ngemajuka kelapa sawit ba rampa menua. Nya iya nusi diri nanya ka nama utai kena sida mansang ngagai aum nya, semua madahka ngena kerita. Nya ku iya, jai kerita, ngeluarka asap tang dikena kitai meh, bakanya meh ke nanam sawit, taja bc environmental impact, tang ngenataika pemanah ke mensia laban mayuh utai ulih digaga ari buah sawit. "Pokoknya kita perbanyakkan manafaat dan mengurangkan mudarat" ku iya. Ish, philosophical apai tuai tu, ku ati aku din - that I can handle, laban aku ngembuan mayuh data,jerita & pemansang industri sawit ari research ke digaga aku kenyau ari taun 2002 suba.Ulih aku betukar penemu enggau apai tuai jawa tu lagi ku ati aku.

Ngenyadika iya ka meri kami mayuh information ke dipeguna kami, aku lalu enda kedekut ga, madahka iya pasal pemansang sawit di Malaysia sereta penanggul ke nuntung industri sawit ditu. Iya lalu nyaut, amat competitior kitai, tang ku nabi Muhammad, lebih baik lawan yg kuat daripada rakan yang lemah. Uh, nya enda aku nyaut, enggai ga aku madahka kitai dipinta Jesus rinduka pangan diri baka ke rinduka diri empu, laban sida selam muti ngambu sida ke sama selam bersaudara. Kedua enggai tak salah anggap iya, ninga aku nyebut pengerindu enggai tak ke bukai runding sida.

Pia mega pemesai ke enggau kami nemu ga nusi jerita side story, ke ngasuh ketawa. Nyau lama kelama mayuh meh utai di padahka Pak Masum, iya lalu ngasuh dua iku staff ke enggau iya meri kami additional info. Iya kami nyau ka pulai, Pak Masum lalu nguing ngagai aku, ku iya "Pasti ibu Rita takut sama saya, sebab saya macham orang Pas!" Aku lalu jampat nyaut iya, "itu yang dapat dilihat dari luar Pak, di dalam nya mungkin enggak gitu". Apu, ku ati ku din, nemu iya aku ke ngembuan pengerawan tadi. Nasit meh tudah tuai manah. Aku lalu kempang ga nanya ka senentang gari ke dikena iya, kumbai aku uniform sida, tang ukai ku iya, nya kena iya ari satu aja, laban ia member of the army reserve. Udah tama dalam kerita & mupuk baru aku berasai lega ku urang. Bala kami sebuat lalu nundi aku, ngumba ka jaku Pak Masum, berasai indu Malaysia nya nemuai asuh kitai enda betudung ku sida iya. Kami lalu release tension bendar amat makai ba restoran ke nyual nasi padang.

Ari siti kami mulaika diri ngagai Jakarta. Bemalam semalam dia. Tu nyah, gambar aku ba boutique hotel ke endur kami diau Sari Pan Pacific. Siti gambar aku ba lounge di airport.


a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rD_E82TkufY/R2FuDmSlGHI/AAAAAAAAADU/q5p2pXuygH0/s1600-h/PC110216.JPG">


Tu meh sekeda jerita aku. Ila aku nusi baru, bc jerita sensasi. Diatu mupuk aku, ka berandau enggau Igat, iya baru pulai carolling & dadi baru udah pulai ke bilik tinduk.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My childhood years in rumah panjai

At last, I can now breath easy, the household chores are done, husband and son are fed, I've done my Ini-Yang-ngabas-bala-uchu part cos Kunchi, mom, ika & Kumang are away holidaying in Langkawi and I was asked by big sister to pop in once in a while to check on Amum and her brood. My, what a brood, the twins are so adorable, so sumo-like and they are so well-behaved. As long as they are fed (every 2 hours mind you, so its little wonder they look like little sumo warriors)and comfortable, they would nod off to slumberland. The not-so-well-behaved child is of course the eldest, Aaron Jaul. Word has it that his paternal grandpa, who is a pagan, ever gave him mandi with batu kera upon his birth, to the dismay of Kunchi, ika and ini wai. Seeing as how Kunchi is a Christian manang in her own right, ika a faithful disciple of Christ and ini wai a staunch believer in the Lord, I jokingly told them to call on the Holy Spirit to descend upon their uchu/ichit and wash his stain. That they did, but Jaul is still as manchal as ever, so we unanimously concluded that Jaul is sigi manchal, enda bula manchal, period. Ann-Marie Jeburi is as lovely as ever but after two weeks of not going to the physiotherapist for her exercise, she has turned lazy - she would just sit on her walker or lie down and refused to walk. Igat attempted to walk her round the sitting room but she was not co-operative. Muntai was there, volunteering her help, tho I did not see much evidence of it. Well kids are kids, and town kids who grew up with indons to do their bidding are the worse - I know so, I've been living with three such kids. In retrospect, seeing as how the girls turned out to be okay, I mean from the photos they posted on their blogs - that do indicate they know how to cook, clean and take care of themselves, perhaps dad and I should've done away with the indons before..(ahem.. the last sentence is a redeeming grace, just in case I got bombarded with "mami..mami..how could you" calls from them after they read this posting).

Now I tell you of my childhood years in rumah panjai. You might wonder why I chose Indu Rumah Panjai as my url. Well, I am what you may call you-can-take-the-girl-out-of-the-rumah-panjai-but-you-can't-take-the-rumah-panjai-out-of-her. Indeed, the rumah panjai values are so deep-rooted in me. Indu rumah panjai of my times were brought up to be bagas, to be indu asi, indu ai, to be gracious to temuai, to be respectful of our elders, to be generous to others, to be caring and supportive, to be loving to our children and at the same time to discipline them. See, in those days, indu dara and bini urang woke up early, as early as 4.30 am to do the laundry and berapi for breakfast and tapau lunch to be brought to the kebun/umai. Then came the time to serve breakfast, sent the kids to school, tidied the bilik and set off to the kebun/umai. They worked alongside the men and when it was time to prepare lunch, they stopped and prepared lunch. Then it was off to toil again, to go back home by about 5.30pm. Along the way, they picked ripe buah letup and whatever buah babas to bring home for their kids. And the kids would go jengkak-jengkak when they saw their parents coming, hoping for some treats..well buah letup, buah kubal, and when its fruit season, buah lumok, buah temedak, buah kemanti, buah ma.

The evening ritual was to mandi and masu gari. I loved the mandi time, cos that was when you could socialise with others and to be with your parents. While indai brushed and banged the laundry against the hard board of the jelatong, apai would turned himself into John Travolta's Powder - his body would be covered with suds from top to bottom.. and then it was time to dip in the river to get rid of the suds, and to play with the kids. Apai would toss me up and up, and I would fall, stayed in water as long as I could hold my breath, and then popped up again. Then came the merus daki ritual - I hated this part. It was the time when indai stopped the play, got hold of me and scrubbed me with some rough, used piece of cloth, from top to bottom. But the best part was when indai, after she had washed herself, got in the river, pumped air into her sarong which caused the sarong to balloon up and then I would climb from behind, numpang indai itit. My, it was so cool...

Back from mandi, the indu dara and bini urang cooked and the apais minded the children until its makai time. After the dishes were done, its time to ngelipat gari and later, socialise. Some elderly women with menantu and anak dara to do the chores normally busied themselves beranyam after dinner. Sometimes, when its jagung season, the adults would bring big baka and dried corns in the cobs to the ruai and we gotong-royong picked the ears of the corn out of the cobs. The jagung were then stored - some for cornmeal, but mostly for pemakai manuk.

We were told to be gracious to visitors. When they came, we were not allowed to ask whether they have eaten, cos people might be malu to say they have not eaten and instead they said yes and ended up hungry. Rather, we were told to prepare food and serve visitors at any time of the day. The second rule is to mela as quietly as possible. If we make a lot of noise - from clanging pots, plates and spoons, it would indicate to the visitors that we were not pleased in preparing their meal, so they would not feel welcomed. The third rule is not to meda urang makai, enggai ke urang malu. So it would be the elders to sit and eat with the temuai. If the indu dara have not eaten, they got to eat later, after the temuais had their meal.

We were told that its disrespectful to call people by their given names. So depending on the relationship, we either addressed the men as aya, ika, adi, aki or by the names of their eldest children - apai Bulau, for instance. Women were addressed as ibu, ini, ika, adi or indai Bulau.

We were trained to be clean. So at about 4.30 pm, it was time to nyauk and mugal periuk. We took the pots and pans to the Niah river, we used sand and dried daun kemplas or sometimes daun lumok (when we ran out of the berus dawai alus) to scrub the pots and pans till they shined, till we could see our faces mirrored on their surfaces. We proudly held out our pots and pans to the passing motor chalo, and the urang kapal showed their black pots and pans at us. We made faces at them, and they made faces at us.

We scrubbed the papan dapur, tempuan and underneath the dapur, clean. We nyapu abu from the dapur and threw the ashes away. We cleaned and scrubbed the shelves holding the pinggai mangkuk. We cleaned the water bottles regularly (we used glass F & N bottles) and to prevent dust from settling on the clean plates and bottles, we covered them with clean towels. Our jemari pinggai was the envy of many, cos dad was great at making those things. Many came to seek his favour to make sarang pinggai for them. He obliged them all, but he could only make them during the night as he was busy during the day.

When the neighbours were in need of sugar, coffee, tea, garam, biching, pusu, minyak and sabun, it was the norm to lend and they would repay later. If the neighbours were hardup, we never expected them to pay back, nor did we nagih them. If someone still had a lot of padi to be harvested while others had completed their harvests, the folks would gotong royong to assist with the harvest. If someone fell ill, their bilik would be full of folks coming in to ngabas, gave comfort, ngurut if the illness was urutable, and just to be there, for company. If someone died, all would gotong royong-the men to make the santubong, the women to cook. People would sleep on the ruai and the ruai of the dead was always full of relatives and if there were not many relatives, the longhouse women made sure that they kept vigil with the immediate family members.

Skilful women were and still are held in high regard. Women learned to weave, ngaga pua, nusuk manik, beranyam, learned to ngaga penganan semut, kuih chap, kuih buah ulu, penyaram, ngaga tuak. So as best they could, longhouse women of my times learned to acquire these skills. With all these attributes, bagas gawa, bebasa ke urang, manah ulah, they became what is known as indu asi indu ai. Such women built a name for themselves, so they became very good wife material. More so if they have the looks, that upped their value in the longhouse community.

These values are still held dear by the Iban community until today, tho sadly, I see less and less women are of indu asi, indu ai material these days. With modern conveniences available even in the longhouse now, one could still see some biliks need a lot of an indu asi indu ai's touch. It 's no longer shameful to wake up late, some don't know how to address people according to adat and basa, some don't even know how to converse with guests and some don't see the need to learn to make penyaram, penganan semut, kuih chap, those so Iban must-haves for Gawai - leave it to the indai or ini to do. True, some might say, why make, why not buy, but to me, if you have the time, its fun and very fulfilling to make one's own, especially for the husband, kids and relatives to chomp on.

What had those years in the longhouse taught me? A lot, it taught me to work hard, it taught me tenacity, it gave me a lot of courage, it taught me to be resourceful, it taught me to be resilient and it taught me to be a hostess to make my husband proud. I still hold those values dear today, and as best I could, uphold those values and impart them to my children (tho I nunga my visitors makai, not left them alone). I know I don't merit the gelaran indu asi indu ai as I fall short in many things, but I know I set those values as benchmarks for the things that I do and say. I am blessed I have a bilik in the longhouse that I could put those values into practice in its original setting. I am blessed that my parents and kaban belayan taught me well so those attitude came in good stead now that I don't have a helper or when I face seemingly daunting tasks. Oh, I am lazy at times, especially after a hard day's work in the office. So that's when I would do the minimal household chores and leave the rest for Saturday, like today. Today I woke up at 6 am, housecleaned, laundered, until 10 am. I don't mind the hard work, as it gives me great pleasure to see my house spick and span. It is therapeutic, and best of all, over long periods, it help to get rid of some unsightly bulges.

I thank God, now when I am mentally and physically drained, we would head to the Kopitiam (the veritable Chinese semua ada), Popular Corner (anything Malaysian), Apple (standard Chinese food), Blueberry (the usual sidewalk cafe fare), Mount Zion (for mix of western and oriental), Ezy Plus (for Japanese food) Marco Polo (for some high end dining), Capitol restaurant (for some old world atmosphere, great fried mee sua and deep fried duck) Everly (for olang tengok olang only, the food is not to our taste), Peace Garden (for ikan bakar) Spring Garden (for deep fried chicken feet and fried perut babi that are to die for, never mind the less than ahem ahem environment) Pizza Hut and KFC (when we have to pander to Igat's whims) Plaza Regency (well, when we need just a different environment), Riverfront cafe (to makai ramai-ramai with the evening mass crowd on Sunday) 888 (for bak kut teh) Lily Insol (for kampua, laksa, loh see fun & the usual, both for taste and sisterly support ahem her stall is behind the new Sing Kwong's supermart ahem ahem)and lately, the new seafood beside the Christian cemetery at Tg Batu. Their ikan and sotong bakar are great and the price of food is very reasonable. To top it up, dadi and I would sip our favourite red wine and I would pop in my favourite chocolate. Ah, the blessings of modern life, ooh, the blessings of education, to enable a middle aged woman with ati agi tubah ati indu rumah panjai to savour the comforts not available then to the older womenfolk. The Lord be praised indeed.

.