I found out that Sarawak is really different. I know, you guys are like slapping your forehead and saying “Aiyah.. of course la you idiot!!”.. and I don’t blame you because, I have to admit…I do take my home state for granted way too often.
You know how I’ve been living for 25 years, and soon to be 26 (Shit, I’m getting older by a year soon!!)???? Well, all this while, I never really cared about Sarawak’s souvenirs and handicraft. I used to carry those rattan baskets we Bidayuh’s call ‘tambok/jumbuok’ (or whatever they call it) up and down my granpa’s cocoa garden and durian estates, and I never appreciated it. I used to walk pass through Carpenter Street like a thousand times when I was studying in Kolej Abdillah, just for the sake to go from India Street to Riverside… and I never realized… what was in those puny old shops along my way.
And my latest visit caught me by surprised. Sarawak has so many interesting valuable handicrafts. Down from the simplest keychain carvings, to the humongous solid wooden table.. It’s all found at Carpenter Street. In fact, you could get so many antique stuff, you could beat Ripley’s hands down! Honestly speaking, the row of shops at Carpenter street could be turned into a museum!! I was also pretty amazed to see the designs of the t-shirst on sale. The design of the t-shirts available look nothing short of amazing and stylish, while incorporating those Sarawak essence deep within.
Anyway, I’ll be frank by saying I had this sense of pride while looking at the handicraft’s sold. Not only because they look so ‘tribal’ yet exclusive, but also to the fact that I can say I am part of it.
Ya..ya.. I don’t climb mountains to look for durians anymore. I don’t get jiggy with muddy fields to get paddy. I don’t walk for hours to reach some farm… I don’t do some authentic dance on the third day of Gawai, but still… I do feel the pride. I guess my roots as a Bidayuh are still deep inside of me despite not really knowing much of my own culture.
I guess, that feeling just got to me so much that I decided to leave Carpenter Street with this souvenir:
Ahhh….. “Bidayuh Sarawak” 😀 No one can take that away from me….