Monday, December 01, 2008

Sarawak celebrates Kayan Carnival

By George Francis

MIRI - The Sarawak Kayan Carnival over the weekend here can become an important event in the calendar of Miri city and be a tourist attraction, according to deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan.

He hoped the inaugural carnival would further strengthen the unity of the Kayans - the biggest of the Orang Ulu group in Sarawak comprising some 27,000 people. "As far as we know, the Kayans are a brave group of people". The Kayans were the only group that was recorded in the Sarawak Gazette as having expelled the people that ruled over them in the Baram in the 1800s.

"They stood up to the Brooke forces which organised a war expedition, the so-called Great Kayan Expedition, in the Batnag Rajang," Chan said when officiating at the inaugural Sarawak Kayan Carnival 2008 here.

The Kayans are also well known for their rich cultural heritage. The "sape", according to Chan, with its captivating melody is today well known world-wide and have been played before the Queen of England and is a regular feature at the Rainforrest Festival at Damai.

Chan congratulated the Sarawak Kayan Association for organising the carnival.

"Now, we no longer live in a world where a community has to kill in order to survive or thrive. Today, we use our brains and not our brawns. A successful man is no longer measured by how many heads he brings back but on how well educated he is and how he can use his knowldge to improve his economic and social well-being as well as that of the society," added Chan.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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