Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bidayuh, a 'part' of Sarawak

Hello, I am Roystance and I come from Kuching Sarawak. I am a bidayuh and for those who never heard of the term Bidayuh before, we call it land Dayak in English. For Iban, they are known as sea Dayak. So, you can see the difference here. The term Land Dayaks was first used during the period of Rajah James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak. Most of the Bidayuh villages can be found in the rural areas of Lundu, Bau, Padawan, Penrissen and Serian district. If you analyze the geography, the area in which Bidayuh live is mainly in the basin of the Sarawak River and hilly to mountainous forest, traditionally worked by rotational agriculture and hunting based in the nearest forest. There are generally said to be three main linguistic groupings (Biatah; Bau-Jagoi; Bukar-Sadong) but these can be broken down even beyond the list referenced below as most people can be distinguished by locals down to village level through smaller differences in vocabulary and intonation.

1) Lundu speak Jagoi, Salako &Lara

2) Bratak, Singai, Krokong and Jagoi speak Singai-Jagoi

3) Penrissen speak Bisitang(my language)

4) Siburan speak Biatah

5) Bidayuhs around Serian such as Tebekang, Mongkos, Tebedu to Tanjung Amo near the border of Kalimantan Indonesia speak Bukar-Sadong.

6) Bidayuhs in Padawan speak several but related dialects like Bi-anah, Pinyawa, Braang, Bia', Bisepug & Emperoh/Bipuruh.

According to history books and research from the World Wide Web, long before the arrival of the white Rajah, Bidayuhs are animist. The arrival of white rajah along with Christian missionaries who brings education and modern medicine changed the life of most Bidayuhs because many of them converted to Christians after the arrival of the white rajah. Some even became Muslims and the left over remains as animist.
Lastly, I am really proud to be a Bidayuh and as you all know, Bidayuh is a part of Sarawak community. Together with other races, we strive to make Sarawak a better place and just like our tourism slogan, Sarawak, a place like no other.


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