Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Lovely people of Kg Sg Bandung

Wed 6 Aug - Tue 12 Aug 2014
Kuching and its surroundings

It's been a long time since I have been in Kuching - a good 2 decades! I can't remember much of the city, so it's hard to tell the difference. More on Kuching on a different post.

This time I'm travelling further to a unique Java village at Kampung Sungai Bandung, near Serian. And I'm here not really as a visitor, but embracing it as a second home. Mak and Bapak have been lovely and very welcoming. Mak will not even allow me to help her at the kitchen. The kiddos have been very nice to me too, especially Alia. I find it amusing an 11 year old girl likes to chat with me. She even scribbled I love U Bik (means aunty in Javanese) Aida on my Partner In Crime's Sister's car.

Of course, Partner In Crime can't be more accommodating to help me blend in with the family. Most of the time they speak Javanese, but I think I can pick up some words here and there. It will take some time for me to grasp the language and remember everyone's name, but I'll manage, soon. 

look closely
Us with kiddos. Alia front, right

Kampung Sungai Bandung

Mak and Bapak's house is on top of a hill. A bit of climb from the village masjid Darul Arqam through a narrow road where only 1 vehicle could pass through at a time. There are some fruit orchards around Bapak's house (but located on Mak's land)- durian, jackfruit, mangosteen and rambutan.

up the hill
is the house

the orchard
Masjid Darul Arqam
the village road
welcome to Kg Sg Bandung

Sungai Bandung

The nearest town (well, you could hardly call it a town, more like cowboy town ) where you can buy basic dry groceries is Pekan Baki Lama. It has been there since before Partner In Crime was born, evident from the wooden building design, it has the feel of the good old 60s

Pekan Baki Lama

There is also a pig farm near the village, owned by a Chinese family which have been there since as long as Partner In Crime can remember.

Pig farm


The nearest proper town is Serian, which gets its name from Durian. You will be welcomed by a huge  Durian statue once you enter the town.  You can get poultry, vegetables and a wider range of groceries. One can also buy poultry, seafood and other wet food from the independently run various cold storages (they call it as such, here)

otw to Serian
Serian durian

Gotong Royong spirit

I love how the gotong royong (cooperation between neighbours to prepare for an occasion) is still strong in the village. Everyone comes in full force, starting from early morning on the day before the occasion, each with their roles - the men setting up the tents, tables and chairs; women doing the cooking - peeling onions, potatoes, pineapples; preparing the chicken, and cooking yummy dishes (I absolutely love the tempe goreng or fried soy paste).

setting up the tents

collecting the pineapples
cooking the pineapples
cooking materials
preparing chicken
peeling onion

For the doa selamat kenduri (prayer recital), on the evening before the wedding feast, the dishes prepared are nasi ambeng (rice mixed with bihun or vermicelli, chicken and vegetables prepared in a big tray and is shared between the guests).

preparing the rice
bihun (vermicelli )

chicken and pineapple dish
fried vegetable
yummy tempe goreng (fried soy paste)
ready to share nasi ambeng

After the doa selamat, we have a simple menepung tawar (blessing ceremony) at the dais by Mak and Bapak and other close relatives. It is fun having the perfumed pandan leaves and talcum powder being applied on our foreheads. It is a beautiful experience for me as I feel acceptance into the lovely family.

doa selamat (prayer recital)

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Blogger zhu said...

awwww. you'll have lots and lots of fun for years to come. congratulations to both of you!

10:30 AM  
Blogger IZWAN SHAHMIN said...

Awwwwww... ^_^

5:11 PM  

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