Friday, February 04, 2011

Sarawak History

Contrary to the hotel’s information, we find as we walk the city, that the museums are indeed open today. We spend some time in the textile museum and then the Sarawak Museum where after 2 hours, have a thorough knowledge of the history of Sarawak, from prehistory to modern Malaysian independence. Chinatown is like a ghost town with all businesses closed until Monday.

The wedding prewedding reception is on the hotel pool pavilion deck overlooking the river, and we feast on Chinese, Malaysian and native Kelabit foods. We learn that the rice wrapped in leaves is special rice from Bario, grown in the mountain hillsides without rice paddies. This type of rice is difficult to obtain and is unique to the village Gabriel is from. Bario is located in the Kelabit highlands near the border of Indonesian Kalimantan. It is home to one of the smallest ethnic groups in Sarawak, with only about 1,000 remaining in the village today. Some of the villagers have driven 16 hours to attend the wedding. The small group of guests are from Malaysia or Taiwan, delightful company that makes for a very pleasant evening.

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