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Diary Kadayan 1

Written By kadayan chronicles on Monday, 28 August 2006 | 17:49

Written by Amde sidik

Kadayan Culturally

We are now in 21st century, I would say it is not easy to find a hundred percent Kadayan ethnic in any Kadayan’s household, so too the dialect they speak or to some less academic minded, they called it language. The ratio is nine out of ten families found to have mixed marriages- one can forget seeing pure Kadayan-kadayan tulin nowadays.

This is at home I am saying, not in cosmopolitan areas. Nine of ten Kadayan’s kids in both sexes when asked whether they would like to marry Kadayan boys or girls, their response was they prefer looking for some one outside their ethnic for their partners. That one person was not sure what to reply to the question.

They actually do not see anything wrong nor do they stop others from doing so, but that is the trend.

We can still see parents in Kadayans’ kampong where both are Kadayan but I can tell you a great many -about 85% of them are not less 60 years of age.

Kadayan who are now around 40 years of age or less mostly married to a non-Kadayan counted about 95%. This is based on the sample taken from 70 people in Sipitang district area for those born in the late 50s and later.

It is not a question of uninterested in Kadayan but it is just how things are.

For a person like me interested in the subject perhaps this is an opportunity to be able to observe in a lifetime, the phenomena of cultural and ethnic changes of my own ethnic. Here, I can also see how far behind we are when comparing with the developed westerners especially the western European, in as far as talking about interest in preserving cultures. Their archives and museums have more information about us than our own archives or museums are.

One day I was in our Kota Kinabalu Museum trying to find out something if any about Kadayan. A close friend and relative of mine told me a few years ago he saw Kadayan costumes hanging in the Kota Kinabalu Museum. When I went there asked a few museum employees, they said they never heard about Kadayan let alone seeing something hanging about Kadayan-a bit sounds like a bat. I have to come back to my friend whether what he told me was his dream or something else!

The only answer I can think of is by recording them, perhaps that helps retained what can be retained for the future generation to remember. I am sure many questions would be asked in 100 years to come and I am equally sure not many could give good description of Kadayan. This is because our cultural aspects are not preserved even in the crudest term. I wonder if anyone can find Amde’s writings by the time, perhaps too minute to be of any importance.

Thus to me the subject on Kadayan is already history so also many other ethnics except I cannot be talking on their behalf otherwise far too many things to be bothered about.

My interest in studying my ethnic did not begin until I was in the late thirty; it all started with my Kadayan friends wanting me to become the president of Kadayan’s Association in Sabah immediately after I came back from United Kingdom. The original Association was then called SEDAYA. Do not ask me why or how the name derived. The Registrar of Society deregistered the association and it was in abeyance for several years.

I was asked to revive the association. With a few friends like Mahmud Osman, Tahir Mohsen, Jaidin Tamin, Murshidie Hamzah and Arimi Sidek just to mention a few names, we started all over. It took us about two years to get it registered; we came up with new name and new logo.

At the time of writing this article, the President of the Kadayan’s Assocaition is some one from Kampong Lingkongan Beaufort.

A few Kadayan that I met recently asked about the development of the association because they said they have not heard anything since I left. I did not know either and not many of us, the former committee members involved ; invitation for association’s activities was seldom extended to us.

My interest is to go on writing about my ethnic and if you are Kadayan either behaving like what Kadayan do or do not do, if I am around and caught my attention you probably be recorded in my Kadayan’s Diary. Thank you.

It was not really my interest to head the association, to me then it was too racialist to promote one ethnic or race. However, my mind changed after a few years realising that there are lessons and knowledge to be learnt in each ethnic of ours.

Understanding a culture is a kin to knowing about genome in human species I was perhaps sharing a view with my Banjarese friend.

I was hooked when looking from academic perspectives unlike other fields they keep on developing but study on ethnic and culture of Borneo is not that influential to policymaking people,. But it is also seen lack of understanding of people 's culture would create lots of guessing work. My particular reference is to those wanting to become community leaders; let not fall into shortsightedness.
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