Sarawak Cultural Village is Sarawak one stop cultural Center...located at the foot of the Mystical Mount Santubong about 45minutes drive form Kuching City Center. The village combines history...traditional...lifestyle and architecture with a dash of education and a portion of theatre create a unique multi-cultural extravaganza. It one stop centre for Sarawak Multi-racial and Culture showcase.
SCV is also within a walking distance from Damai Beach Resort...Damai Puri Resort and Spa...Permai Rainforest Resort and also Damai Golf Club. Making the village an ideal setting for the Rainforest World Music Festival held yearly in July.
I and group of friends made a trip to Sarawak Cultural Village during the Hari Raya holiday. Our journey to the Village took us 45 minutes drive from Kuching City Centre. Even though there is no public bus services to the village you can drive or hire a taxi, rent a car or you can make transport arrangement with your hotels. A visit to the Village is highly recommended if you want to know more about Sarawak multi-cultural and its people at the shortest possible time.
It was drizzly when we reached Sarawak Cultural Village. We parked our transport at the ample parking space at the Village's entrance. We were warmly welcome by the friendly and ever smiling Sarawak Cultural Village's staff at the entrance where we purchase our entrance tickets.
Scattered over a beautiful 12-acres site are seven
unique traditional houses of the Sarawak people which also double as
showcase of each community lifestyle and the various artifact that each
Our journey started right after the main entrance where we're being greeted by the various sculpture in various formation.
Right in front of us is the main building which housed the Panggung Budaya...the Restaurant Budaya and just to our right is the Handicraft Shop and beside it is the Chinese Pavilion
As we continued our journey along the plank walk...our first stop was the Bidayuh Longhouse.
Right before climbing up the longhouse is the traditional equipment
used by the Bidayuh community to extract sugar cane juice to make sugar
cane vine. I used to help my parent with the process in my childhood.
Walking on the “tonyu” or the veranda where the community dry out their
padi was a wonderful experienced. We were greeted by the Bidayuh maiden
in traditional costume going about weaving rattan basket and the man
doing bamboo carving.
The interior of the longhouse is being designed to mimic the original Bidayuh Longhouse in the old days from the fire place to the living room and we saw the various traditional musical instruments (the gongs) that are being used during the traditional rituals.
Outside the longhouse is the Baruk which housed the various artifact of the Bidayuh Community. In the old days the Baruk became the focal point for the youth gathering and also for Traditional Ceremony.
Our next stop was the Iban Longhouse
which is being designed to the traditional longhouse of the Iban
Community. Inside the house we were amazed to see the various artifacts
that are typically found in the Iban longhouse...the gongs...the human
skull hanged about the fire place...to name a few.
We also watch a simple demonstration of Pua Kumpu weaving by one of the residents. Upon inquired, we were told that it took about 3 weeks to finished one piece of 2 meters Pua Kumpu...enough to make 1 man shirt.
The longhouse walls are decorated with traditional iban pua kumpu, gongs and traditional iban's farming items and other items that you can see in typical iban's longhouse in the interior of Sarawak.
Next to the Iban Longhouse is the newly completed Rainforest Stage...the venue for the annual Rainforest World Music Festival and next to it is the Dewan Lagenda which are available for corporate or individual to hold parties, function or couple to celebrate the special moments.
As we continue our journey along the plank, we stop at the Penan Hut
which showcase the basic items found in a typical living quarters of
the community in the jungle. Outside the hut was a display of the
blowpipe making facilities. We didn't try our blow pipe shooting skill
as the resident was involved in another activity. Next time around I
will surely try it out.
From here...we climbed to the Orang Ulu Longhouse.
Housed here are the items and artifact that can be found in a typical
Orang Ulu longhouse in the yesteryear. We were amazed by the
wood-carving and “tree of life” murals on the wall of the house.. We
watch a demonstration Sape making... the traditional musical instrument of the community.
Our next stop was the Melanau Tall House which showcase the various artifacts found in a typical Melanau Tall House in the olden days. As we entered the main room..we saw the belum carving designed to carry away sickness and disease during the healing rituals. Inside the house we also saw the typical items that are being used during the healing rituals.
The Melanau community could be found living around Dalat, Daro and Mukah.
At the back of the house is the Sago processing
hut....here we're shown the step-by-step process of extracting starch
from the sago palm until the finish product...that is the sago pearls
and sago biscuits or the tabaloi as known to the community.
We continue our tour to the Malay Town House....we're greeted “Selamat Datang” by the host who invited us to their open house. We were lucky as the community was celebrating Hari Raya Festival. We were treated with varieties of local dishes and drinks.. I enjoy eating Sarawak Layer Cake or Kek Lapis Sarawak as it popular known. It's one of my favourite cake.
We didn't try out the Congkak... a strategy game or the top spinning or gasing
as it is know to the community as we are too full. As the host was busy
entertaining other guest we don't have the chance to watch the ladies
of the house preparing the traditional portions and medicine which are
being used by the ladies after birth and during confinement and also
Our last stop before we head back to the Panggung Budaya for the Cultural Performance was the Chinese Farm House. Inside the house we could see the various items and artifacts typically found in a typical Chinese farm house.
The tools of the trade...the basket for pepper berries storage, the dacing
a traditional weighing instruments and other tools like the saw...just
to mention a few. We also noticed that the typical living quarters of
the community is a raised platform. Outside the house is the typical
brick making facilities and also the drying kiln. We also saw the pepper
vine outside the farm house.
As the Cultural performance was about to start we rushed
back to the Pangung Budaya...being performance twice daily. The first of
45 minutes show start at 11.30 am and the second one is at 4.00pm. As
it was still drizzly outside...most of the visitors adjourned to the
theater to watch the performance.
This is where all the action happen, the cultural dance of the dominant communities in Sarawak being performed. Every one is waiting eagerly for the show to start. The show start
with a welcoming dance by the Sarawak Cultural Village's cultural
follow by the Rajang Be'uh from the Bidayuh Community.
The Ngajat Lesong is performed by an Iban warrior who demonstrates the extra-ordinary strength of his teeth by lifting a 20kg mortar.
From the Melanau Community is the Alu-Alu dance which is the performances during the funeral rites as a way to comfort the deceased relatives and friends.
The Orang Ulu Community performed the Kanjet Ngeleput portraying the humble but stealthy gait of the warrior as he conducts a hunting trip in the jungle.
The Cultural performance is ended with the Malay Community performing the Tarian Zapin.
We were fascinated and amazed by the stunning performance of the
Sarawak Cultural Village's cultural troupe. We took a lot of pictures
and some of us even took video using our phone and cameras.
After the show we ...head to the Restaurant Budaya for a hearty meal of local dishes and drinks. Some of us stop at the Handicraft Shop to buy a souvenir or two to bring home for remembrance.
Our trip to Sarawak Cultural Village was both enjoyable and eye-opening as we have learn that there is more to Sarawak then just Kuching Waterfront and the City tours. The Sarawak Cultural Village's staff bid us Selamat Jalan dan Berjumpa Lagi meant have a safe journey and looking forward to see you again.
Yes. We will surely make another trip in the near future. We drove back to Kuching feeling excited and also happy at the same time feeling sad leaving such a wonderful place behind.
Next time around we would like to join Sarawak Cultural Village's Homestay program.
To learn more about the various activities and program available at the Sarawak Cultural Village you can visit them here.
Click Sarawak Cultural Village to visit other longhouses around Sarawak.