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About Kadayan ... part 1

Written By kadayan chronicles on Tuesday, 24 January 2006 | 10:27

Written by Amde sidik

Great novel : Darah Kadayan

(Read Amde's biography HERE)

Wonder how many younger Kadayan have had a chance to read an old novel titled Darah Kadayan written by a Malay novelist Harun Aminurrashid published in Singapore by Royal Press Singapore 1947.

The aurthor was a school teacher who spent many years in Brunei until late 50s. He travelled extensively in North Borneo was then called, now Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak.

Harun Aminurrahsid

The novel is about Kadayan community, about its cultural practices, about its moral and ethical belief and most importantly about the teaching of Islamic religion and how religion moulded the society until today.

The story was premised in Brunei.

Harun also tried to show that Kadayan were found all over Brunei Bay region in particular Labuan, earlier it was part of Brunei Kingdom just as part of Sabah was.

Now I am sorry! To be honest I didn't read the hard copy, I tell you later...I remember seeing the book, but didn't quite remember reading completely the whole book. However, I vividly remembered holding and browsing the pages.

I must have been at primary three or four at the time. The book belonged to a friend who was my senior- a primary six pupil. I wasn't brave enough to open my mouth at that time to ask if I could borrow from him. Even if I did, he probably wouldn't lend me. I was in a weak position to ask for favour, being in lower class.

It must have been in 60s in my school called Government Primary School Kg. Pantai, in Sipitang.
The school had been moved elsewhere now except the name still remains.

In 2000-2002, I involved with cultural activities in the State.

Many friends asked me whether I have this book in my collection. Some said they had read it and they wanted to read again.

I felt a bit embarrass not only for not having the book in my collection but also for not having read it. How on earth do I know the story? !

It was from then on I started searching for the book.

The book is not available locally, one friend said he had it but never really managed to show it to me until the very day. It was via internet that I came across a copy in Singapore and a copy in Penang but irony is, no way to locate the book because there is no mention about the place let alone telephone contact.

A short cut to this, there is a tape available in our Kota Kinabalu public library. The story was narrated by a young Chinese lady perhaps student. Lovely!

I have borrowed it a few times.

What I like most about the novel is, the way Harun writes. It's basic simple Malay yet elegantly presented, making it refreshing to read, which I find no time barrier eventhough this book was written in 40s, very much Bahasa Baku. I subscribed to Bahasa Baku right from the beginning because it suited well to Borneo people like us.

Of lately I managed to read a portion of the novel in a book titled Harun Aminurrashid by Abdullah Hussein. I have in fact translated into English the part where the hero and the heroine attended the padi harvesting ritual, in my book The Lost People of Borneo, published by Universe, New York, which should be available in Malaysia sometime in April.

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  1. kalau nda silap pernah membaca ni, pernah jua dulu di buat drama TV di Brunei si kudil pelakonya


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