Tags archives: 24-90

Charlist & Lorita: Bidayuh-Iban Love Story

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to share about the recent work that I have done at Serian – a wedding reception between Charlist & Lorita, a Bidayuh from Kpg Pichin and an Iban (Remun, to be exact) from Kpg Semukoi respectively.

There is a YouTube video version of the event, which you can watch here. Do consider to Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

They were in a relationship for 15 years before actually tying the knot. Their official wedding took place on 16th Aug 2022 and as per locals custom, the wedding reception can be done at a later date. This gives more flexibility in terms of their planning and also allows family members and friends to arrange their plan in order to attend their wedding.

BIDAYUH SERIAN

Charlist is a Pichin lad, where his mother is from Kpg Pichin and his late father from Kpg Tebakang Dayak. For us at Serian, it is easy to know whether you are from which village because each village has their own identical dialects. Piching has their own unique “tan neh” filler words. In Bidayuh Serian, the word “iban” refers to “isan” in Iban language, which refers to the relationship between parents of married couples. Meanwhile, “tuwa” is how the couple refers to their parents in law. This is not to be confused with “tuak” (rice wine).

The funny thing is in Bidayuh Biatah / SIburan, the same “tuwa” words refers to your uncle / aunty that is younger than your parents. This is just some of the examples of how complex Bidayuh language is.

IBAN REMUN

For those who didn’t know, Iban is the biggest ethnic group at Sarawak, followed by Bidayuh. Both are Dayaks, therefore both celebrates Gawai and there are various similarities. Mixed-marriage between Iban and Bidayuh is also common.

Being the biggest ethnic group in Sarawak, Iban is bound to have dialect variation due to geographical distance as Iban people progresses through time. Lorita is from Iban Remun’s tribe. Iban Remun language is different from standard Iban language. Their dialect is different from other Iban speakers from other parts of Sarawak, including Betong, Simanggang (Sri Aman), Sarikei, Rajang etc. Remun Ibans reside around Serian, Simunjan and Balai Ringin.

If you look up samples of Iban Remun in Google, the two most popular example are as follows:

“Entai ku ngilau” (Iban Remun) – “Nadai ku meda” (Standard Iban) – “I cannot see”
“Entauk ku badak” (Iban Remun) – “Enda ku nemu” (Standard Iban) – “I don’t know”

Other common example of Iban Remun words

These unique dialect is something that every Iban Remun needs to protect, lest it will be lost with time due to various reasons, which is something that Serian Iban Remun Association (SIRA) is fighting to prevent from happening.

CHARLIST & LORITA WEDDING RECEPTION

Back to Charlist, the wedding reception is always a moment that is being awaited for, especially when it comes to a friend that have known for so long yet haven’t settled down with his / her life’s partner. For Charlist & Lorita, it is a special night to celebrate their love along with their family and friends. 

The event started at 6.30pm at Roxy Hotel, Serian. Both bride & groom walked in with accompaniment from dancers in full costume representing their respective ethnics. After that, there was a bit of religious segment of the night, where Pastor Lawrance gave a sharing from the Word of God to both Charlist & Lorita. 

After blessing was done, cake-cutting ceremony follows. That’s where Charlist & Lorita cut the cake together, as a symbolic of undertaking the task in life together, and share the fruit of their labours with both family. As correctly mentioned by Mr Jantai, Lorita’s father, the union is not only between Lorita & Charlist but the union between both families. He himself has a new son, i.e. Charlist.

Once the cake-cutting ceremony is done, a new symbolic ceremony took place.

ADAT PERNIKAHAN BUNGAI PINANG

The custom called “Adat Pernikahan Bungai Pinang” is an Iban Remun’s traditional customs and I haven’t witnessed it being done elsewhere apart from Remun areas. It is a unique custom where representatives from each family goes to the front to the ceremony master. 

But before that, a tajau is prepared along with the other traditional items, including a Pua Kumbu (Iban’s ceremonial textile) & sarong on top of brass tray (talam loyang) or sometimes silver or gold. Inside that tajau are a bunch of “ai bisa” (alcoholic beverages), where home-made tuak also can be used though in this case their opt for commercialised drinks as long as it meets the purpose / objective of the tradition.

One person from groom side will take first, followed by a rep from bride’s side.

Whichever bottles they have obtained, it will be shared among the representatives. Once done, the bottle from the bride’s side will be opened and shared. Since this is a mixed wedding, Bidayuh cheers “Tara Tara Tara” was used.

After the “Bungai Pinang” ceremony, Mr Jantai officiated the singing session with “Bekikis Bulu Betis”, a legendary song sung by Andrewson Ngalai, a renowned Sarawakian singer from Iban group. The group at the back dance enthusiastically to the song, with chanting of “Indi, Duweh, Taruh” breaking the ice between the guests.

Wonderful Tonight Slow Dance Session

After “Bekikis Bulu Betis”, it was the time for first dance, slow dance between Charlist & Lorita, though other couples are most welcomed to join. The song for this slow dance is “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, and sung by yours truly, Tukang Rantek.

After that, it was free & easy. There were a lot of dances happening around the hall, cheers Tara Tara Tara heard from the dancing guests. Charlist & Lorita finds it difficult to have a rest because there will be excited guests from family and friends group who will come to congratulate them, givings gifts to them and most importantly, group photo with the bride & groom.

Dancefloor that never rests.

The event ends officially at 11pm, but after-party at Kpg Semukoi picked up where the official dinner left off. DJ’ed by Charlists cousins, Benen & Atai & his uncle, Mr Sangkitang, the afterparty goes on until 4am in the morning.

EPILOGUE

One thing that I like about this kind of event is that I am able to catch up with long, lost friends such as Dolin, Po-et, etc, those whom I don’t get to see on day-to-day basis due to life’s path. It is good to see childhood friends such as Boyong & Achik, Buntek, Jantul, Teten etc have a good family of their own, a path which Charlist & Lorita soon will follow suit.

Looking at them reminds me to the good old days, where life’s biggest challenge was UPSR, an exam which our late headmaster, Guru Besar Patrick Dabot from Kpg Tebakang Dayak wants us to excel in.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson (Del)
WhatsApp: +60148677585 for more info / enquiries.
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

Note:
1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.
2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.

EVENT PHOTO GALLERY

Eva’s Final Journey

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Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to share the pictures captured during the funeral of Eva, who passed away on 13 Sep 2022. The whole procession took place at Kampung Pichin, a Dayak Bidayuh village located at Serian division of Sarawak, situated around 1.5 hours journey from Kuching.

The late Eva was only 16 years old when she passed away, leaving her parents and family devastated, especially her beloved mother.

The whole ceremony was done in accordance to Catholic faith and a mix of Bidayuh Piching tradition. Though she passed away on 13th, she was not buried immediately to give time for relatives from afar to come and gave their final respect.

On the morning of 15th, whilst preparation were being made and the villagers does the customary “gotong-royong” (working together), friends, family and relatives, including Eva’s classmate gave their last respect at the house.

Around 10am, the prayer leader signals to the crowd that the prayers are about to begin before transporting her casket to Holy Trinity Church of Kpg Pichin. There was a short procession from her house to the church, where those who are able joined the procession walk to church.

There, the Funeral Mass were done, and the celebrant was Brother Christian Levi, another Pichin young man too. He shared that death comes like a thief. It is certain, but no one knows how, when and where. All we can do is to prepare our best.

Once the mass is ended, there is another final sign of respect to the departed. It is a heartbreaking sight indeed, to see such a life departs from such a young person, but those who believe in Christ shall not perish, but live an everlasting life with Him.

After it is done, there were another convoy to the cemetary, Eva’s final resting place.

The group in charge was from Binyok Zone, where they act as the undertaker, dug her grave and buried her once the prayers are finished.

Once the casket was lowered down, Brother Christian made a sign of the cross using her cross to mark the completion of the prayer. His also shared words of assurance for the living to continue on with life, and to glorify God’s name.

This reminds me to a sharing by an accomplished doctor, where it is easier for people with religion to cope with death, because religion gave them strength, especially those surrounded by brothers and sisters of the same faith. He does not have any religion back then, but he shows a keen interest in learning more about Christianity. May God bless him wherever he is now.

As for the procession, once the burial is complete, flowers and candles are planted there, the last group photo with Eva was done, including with her family and classmates. May God bless Eva’s departed soul and grant strength to her family. Amen.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson (Del)
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

Note:
1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.
2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.

Gawai at Kpg Pichin

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today’s post is about Gawai celebration at Kpg Pichin. Before COVID-19 hits us, it was used to be celebrated in a much grander scale, with much better attendance. Our church, St Trinitas Kpg Pichin (Holy Trinity Church), was never enough to accommodate the ever-growing congregations. We never fail to spot people standing outside the church when it comes to Gawai mass every year.

For 2022 edition, the celebration was still solemn, but people starts to flock to church for annual Gawai mass. The celebrant was Brother Christian Levi, aka Tuki’, one of my childhood friend. It is good to see someone you grew up with, had his fair share of lost identity, finally had a good grip of life and is en route to achieve greatness in the field of his choice, i.e. to be a priest.

His voice is full of masculine energy, very unlike who he once was. Then we took photos outside the church, along with few friends that I have met. Including the Marly & Meeva. These two ladies took picture with me when I was still using my armsling. Looking at this photo, I kind of miss my M9-P + Summilux 50mm combo. Perhaps I will get my M in the future. As of now, I am using SL system, which is much better in terms of usability. But Leica M is an icon.

After the church mass was ended, I rushed back home to edit the pictures of 31st May 2022, after the “Biradang” event at Kpg Sejijag Plaman, Serian, where I followed my sister & her husband. You can read it here: “Biradang” at Kpg Sejijag.

Usually people will take it slow at the early days of 1st June because most of them would have stayed up on the 31st May to wait for midnight and light up the sky. Nowadays, people seems to be able to acquire fireworks easily. Long time ago, only the rich and YBs can afford it.

While waiting for the Dato’ Sri Richard Riot’s open house nearby at 4pm, I visited my grandma’s house, and my aunty’s house and did few photoshoots in between.

When it’s time for Open House, I brought my camera there and capture the moments. There was a random Chinese photographer who was eyeing my camera. Only when I sat down to take a rest, he approached me and have a look at my camera. He was seen using a Fujifilm X-T3 and lens 16-55 f/2.8, which is a good all-rounder lens considering it has an equivalent 24-70mm focal length in full frame.

There was a few official photographer and videographers on duty, but I didn’t recognise any of them. They seems to be too focused with their task at hand, as they should. They don’t interact much with the peoples around. On the other hand, I will talk a lot especially to the event-goers because I will definitely need to write something about it in my blog. Blogging is good, much better than Facebook post as I have 100% creative control. Those who likes to read my stories are most welcomed to subscribe to my blog.

Once the official event was done, I head back home, had a rest and returned back at around 10pm. I didn’t bring my Leica back that time, but I was lucky to be able to play with MacLister’s Leica M Typ 240. I skipped this one and went straight for M10.

There was too much fun at the hall that I didn’t regret didn’t bring my camera as it would be distracting. Once in a while, you need to wind down and enjoy, as well as having fun.

My uncle posed with M-240. Not mine though.
While waiting for my Uncle, I dropped by at my relative’s house and took the pics of my relative and their friends. I kind of miss this moments – of being so young again. Now, my friends are almost all married, settled down and won’t stay up later than 10pm. Forget about my female classmates from Piching, they are glued to their family.

That’s all about the post for 1st June. It is quite an eventful day for me, but the best is yet to come. As I write this blog, I realised that I like to share my journey in this manner. Though photography is not my full time career, it is an outlet for me to channel my creative side and to keep my technical career balanced.

p.s. I am aware that different people has a different approach, so it is totally up to the individual. If you happy with what you see here and wish to hire me, feel free to contact me via WhatsApp +60148677585.

You can also follow me at Twitter, claudiusweson.

That’s all for now. Until next time!

Regards,
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius
Follow me on Twitter: claudiusweson

Just before the blackout.
…and it’s blackout. But the show must go on.
It’s still blackout, but I increased the brightness in post.