We can’t separate people from culture.
Culture like plants can die if it is not looked after. With globalization, stronger forces will definitely swallow up the smaller people. Their stories need to be told before they completely disappear.
Our intention by starting this blog, in a small way is to accommodate this little aspiration that we have left.
Many Borneo stories need to be shared with the world at large. How many people in Sabah know anything south of the border?
Borders are good on paper only. Realities on the ground are totally different.
Tell the Lundayeh not to acknowledge their kin across the border, or for that matter tell the Kenyah priests from Kalimantan to stop crossing over to Sarawak to conduct their Sunday mass, you’ll probably get blank stares.
There are many Borneo stories.
I remember driving along the old Papar road one Ramadan, I noticed one side of the road was quite bright denoting that side was Muslim, whereas, on the other side the scene was normal, the villagers there were definitely not Muslim, yet, they were family.
If road is the demarcation line here, in Sarawak one side of the river could be Anglican, the other side Methodist!
Then, there are Muslim Kadazandusuns, and many more are Christians, it is the same with the Melanaus. At times their cultural identity appears to be stronger than their God!
Tell the Muslim Banjar in Kalimantan they are Malays; they will correct you by saying they are actually Dayaks! And, who are the upland people who call themselves Kadayan? They are Muslim, and then Islam is generally associated with the coastal tribes in Borneo!
Just imagine the variety of languages; customs, cuisines, native arts and crafts what have you practiced by these people.
It is simply mind boggling!