Tags archives: Leica

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.

Let’s Talk About Black & White

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Leica M Monochrom, Summilux 35mm FLE

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today, I would like to share about black and white photography. It is a subset of monochrome photography, where it is a branch of photography that uses single hue of colour, in this case, shades of neutral gray of varying tones. From its various tones, it represents the form and structure of the images captured by the B&W photographer.

In the early days of photography, B&W is the main medium of expression. You can see in the early works of Magnum photography legend, Henri-Cartier Bresson, it is captured in B&W.

By eliminating colour in your images, you basically removes distraction from your image. This enables us to focus on the subject, the textures, shapes, patterns and overall composition. For me, I also can convey emotion & expression of my subject through black and white photography.

Unlike colour photography, when you are shooting in B&W, you focus more on contrast, shape & form because these elements enable your picture to tell story better. A low contrast image will not be as flattering as a high contrast image because you can’t separate it – it seems to be blending in with the background.

However, in my area, Sarawak, black and white photographs are often associated with death, sadness & sorrow. That’s why, there are not many B&W photographers are my area. Most of the peoples shoot in colour, and the preference is to make the colour vivid. In that way, it is more classy.

I deviated away from this school of thought and shot B&W during my early days. I even bought Leica M Monochrom (M9) and It is one fine camera. I used it wherever I go. I stopped shooting weddings for a while because I want to focus more on my B&W art. However, the dilemma came, where I want to focus more on colour or B&W because both equally is a good way. Except colour makes money in Sarawak. B&W is not. Then I concentrate on doing colour images for my clients.

Street photography was put into a stop for a while.

iPhone 6 Plus
Leica M Monochrom, Noctilux 50mm

However, as time goes by, 2022 might be the year I am actively doing B&W again. For me, it is not about gear. It is about the way I see the final image. There are some image that seems to be better in B&W than in colour and vice versa. To be balanced, I should shoot in colour, then convert it to B&W using Silver Efex. That way, I can still strike a balance between what I want to do and what actually makes money.

Leica M Monochrom, Summilux 35mm FLE

Hopefully this story gave a little bit of insight to all of you. As mentioned earlier, I will only post my stuff in my blog, not in social media anymore. Stay tuned for more. Thank you for the support and have a great week ahead!

Take care.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson
Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

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

Tukang Rantek PresentsNutu Gawai Zon Kuari (Kpg Pichin)Gawai Closing 2022

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Tabi basa & greetings everyone,

Gawai is Harvest Festival for Dayak, and it is celebrated annually on 1 June 2022. But when there is Gawai, there is its closing. In Iban, it is called Ngiling Bidai. In Bidayuh, it is simply called Nutu Gawai, or formally called Mparing Sawa. By itself, it is an elaborate celebrate with lots of ceremony in between. For the sake of this simple celebration at Ntangan / Zon level, it is sufficient for us to celebrate it in a simple way as agreed per discussion with fellow Bi-Kuari (Kuari folks).

It started with our traditional dance, Langgi Pingadap by Kuari youths, followed by prayer. After the speeches by our Zon President, the newly-appointed Mr Luje, my own bachelor uncle (Bujang Tuai), the event starts off with dinner.

We also pulled of surprise birthday celebration for Kuari Chief. His birthday was few days ago, but we combined it along with this celebration to make it more special, and the fact that he was appointed not so long ago as the leader.

However it rains. Kinda spoil the fun because the venue was not totally prepared for a heavy downpour like what we experienced. It raining cats and dogs. But that’s ok though, because there is no way we are going to call-off the dinner. The show must go on.

Heavy Rain (Leica SL & Noctilux 50mm)

There was a beer-chugging events last night, and the winner is Mr Colin @ Babeh Ayem. The winner for female category is Asau Joji, with a blitz 8 second record for 1 tin. That is extremely fast. I joined the male category, and lots of us struggle with beer’s outflow due to gas expansion. I can’t imagine how she managed to pull that off. What a skill!

Brother Christian Levi with his Cameroon’s traditional attire, a gift from the community there.
Mr Godes still got the moves.
Beer-chugging King, Mr Colin
Beer-chugging Queen, Asau Joji
Most Supporting Children (Anak Nini)

King and Queen of the night is Mr Sangkitang, host of the night and Pn Rosina.

King & Queen of the Night – Mdm Rosina & Mr Sangkitang with Deputy Zon Kuari, Mr Sonny (Left)

The rest of the pictures here are the flow of the event. There was lot of prize-giving, thanks to the new gift-exchange event. It was part of the way to make an event more lively.

The event was rocking on until 5am. That’s how Gawai is normally. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Have a good week ahead!

Fallen brother.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson
Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

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

EVENT PICTURE GALLERY

Here’s the additional pictures for the event. It was arranged in chronological order. Enjoy!

Babeh Gagap maan wangadep