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Minty is just hilarious. Whacking her smooth iPad touchpad silly because it can’t even write a decent post, I bet šŸ˜€

I’ve been MIA from this wordpress for far too long but I did have a good reason! My wireless router was acting up and nothing could be fixed because it was Hari Raya (Eid) AND Malaysia Independance Day (31st August) celebrations last week! All IT technicians were on leave…grr.

It was a public holiday from Tuesday-Thursday but many work places took the whole week off…that’s the perk of living in Malaysia! The abundance of holidays. This country has one of the most public holidays in the world!

A good friend also flew in for the holidays – she’s never been to Borneo (which comprises of Sarawak & Sabah of Malaysia, Brunei and Kalimantan of Indonesia).

She enjoyed herself, and loved the rustic and authentic part of Borneo. The hilarious aunties made her try senamu’ which is fermented meat and rice (yuck!) saying it is yummylicious. I was hoping for an extreme reaction but all I got from her was a pained look: This is sour!Ā 

If you happen to be in Borneo, you will have to taste its exotic fruit which is called buah tarap/buah kiran (also known as Breadfruit). It is from the same family as the Jackfruit but its fruit tastes more amazing. Creamy, silky, sweet and just lovely! Mmm. It’s my favourite fruit!

You have to try it to taste how delicious it is! The fruit in the photograph above is of the first tarap fruit I’ve had since last summer! The fruit is not in season at the moment but one of the men on the fruit farm (1st picture) kindly found one for me on the tree since they knew it is my favourite. Ahhh. Bliss!

On Musings from Borneo:

I grew up in the city. I hate too much sun, I worry about getting too tanned (a mean senior at school used to call me “Blackie” when I was younger) and yes, I perpetually carry an umbrella and facial oil blotters with me at all times.

Not your typical Bornean jungle lass.

But deep down I do love being part of a native Sarawakian tribe. Really, I do! Well okay, maybe not the part of inheriting their muscular thighs… However as I grew older, I learned to appreciate the other part of myself.

It was difficult growing up, with the community having their own discriminative views on natives. Yes, natives likeĀ aboriginalĀ natives. The Orang Ulu of Sarawak. I grew up listening to people making rash and harsh comments about the Orang Ulu. Lazy. Stupid. So ulu (such backward thinking). Lakia (derogatory racistĀ term).

I don’t speak for all tribes whether these comments are true or not, but I’ll admit, it did hurt to hear such comments. Now it just annoys me.

Can you blame them if they were born IN the jungle, unlike many who were born in an air-conditioned room in a swanky private hospital? Who are we to say one is stupid when children in the interior take hours to a few days just to get to school for a decent education, then decide to drop out when they cannot adapt to the new environment and go back to the village to help their parents on the farm?

If everyone in the interior is given the same opportunities as those living in the city, I am very sure they will be successful. The hardship my dad had to endure just to get to school…! Grandpa would walk my dad in the jungle for 2 days, sleeping in makeshift camps, crossing the river – all so that he could get an education at the closest school which was set up by Christian missionaries early last century.

My dad didn’t want us to endure through all that, and so like the amazing father he is – gave us all the luxury of a proper education. We all studied in different continents for our tertiary education.

So whenever I have the chance to meet students from the interior, when they find out that I am part-native they always warm up easier. A few laughs in our own native languages (mine not as fluent) and it breaks down the ice. We’re all not so different from one another!

I had the opportunity the meet with some lovely Penan girls with whom I became quite friendly with, they are quite the modernised ladies now! If you didn’t know…the Penan tribe of Sarawak are one the few remaining semi-nomadic tribes in the world and deserve to be given the same respect as others. Sadly, many have been exploited in terms of their native lands, amongst other critical issues.

Given the opportunity, grace and love – anyone can excel. With education, they can hold their heads high and protect themselves. With them conquering the English language, it will take them places.

Just in the same way, I do not have to feel put down by racist comments. With education, I have been given a voice. And that voice is power. Bring it on.

Don’t worry, the fashion posts will resume back here soon! I am wearing my favourite H&M summer birdprint dress, Havaianas Slim Peacocks in Gold/Navy, and my current favourite eyewear: Al Capone in black matte from Le Specs. See similar look here!

Oh, and it’s a full shot of petite me! This will be a rare one x

ā™„ P E A C H E S

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