Highlight Sarawak’s culture, customs in your work, local writers encouraged

Ting (second left) promotes the book ‘Sehijau Rimba, Sezaman Wajah’, penned by Chai (left).

MIRI: Local writers and those in the media should produce more work about Sarawak in terms of its customs, culture and tourist attractions, so as to promote this ‘beautiful homeland’ to the outside world.

In making this call, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting also lists out Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, Gawai Dayak, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the Orang Ulu folk dance and their traditional stringed instrument, the ‘sape’ as examples of Sarawak’s rich and profound cultural and traditional attributes.

“These are our intangible assets, ones that are unique to Sarawak. They enrich our life and culture.

“At the same time, some of them have been showcased on the international stage and become key elements in attracting foreign tourists. Most importantly, Sarawak is a very unique place, with its culture and traditions still being flawlessly preserved and practised in the people’s daily lives, not only in villages but also in modern cities and towns,” he said.

Ting, who is Piasau assemblyman, also pointed out the world-famous Mount Mulu National Park as among places that highlighted Sarawak’s ‘very attractive natural beauty’.

Moreover, he observed during this time of Covid-19 pandemic, many scenic spots in and around the state had become key places for the locals to visit.

“In addition, many natural scenic spots, previously hidden in the rural areas, have been discovered. I believe that after the Covid-19 situation has passed, they would attract more tourists to come and explore these ‘secrets of nature’,” he said at the recent launch of a new book, ‘Sehijau Rimba, Sezaman Wajah’ – a collection of essays by a local writer Andreas Chai, who is also an inland cultural collector.

The event took place at Fajar International College here, where the author works.

Adding on, Ting congratulated Chai for his achievement and also expressed his hope that the book could further promote Sarawak, as well as its culture and customs.

The assistant minister particularly observed one of the narratives in the book, which was about the 27 Sarawak ethnic groups, which he regarded as ‘a great reference value’.

“We always read or hear people say about Sarawak having many ethnic groups, but who are they actually? This book provides an answer to this,” he added.

He described Chai, who is an Ulu Baram native, as ‘writing about his empathy and love for the countryside’.

“Therefore through his writing, readers can have a deeper and a more detailed understanding about our countryside and culture,” added Ting, encouraging Chai to write more articles on the various ethnic groups in Sarawak in the future, assuring the author that he (Ting) would assist including by providing photos.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2021/03/16/highlight-sarawaks-culture-customs-in-your-work-local-writers-encouraged/