KUCHING, April 22: The public, tourists and visitors alike, are invited to this year’s Bung Bratak Day Festival on May 1 at the Bung Bratak Heritage Centre (BBHC), Bau.
Bung Bratak Heritage Association (BBHA) chairman Dato Peter Minos in a statement said the festival would be graced by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin at 8am that day.
He said the festival would showcase the Bidayuh traditional colours, music and dances as well as feature a Bidayuh beauty pageant and “Dayung Sangon” parade, and a special show combining Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu cultural dance.
“It will be spectacular,” said Peter.
He said Bung Bratak is an ancient mountain settlement of the Bidayuhs of the Jagoi-Bratak group and according to historians and Bidayuh elders, the first group settled at Bung Bratak over 750 years ago.
“From 1841 onwards when peace came to Sarawak, the settlers moved downhill. Some 41 Bidayuh villages in the Bau, Lundu and Kuching districts of Sarawak and five villages in West Kalimantan originated from Bung Bratak.
“The BBHA had built and completed the BBHC with RM8 million in funds from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The state Public Works Department (JKR) constructed and completed the mountain road leading to BBHC,” sais Peter.
Situated 1,000 feet above sea level, the BBHC has a Bidayuh longhouse and “baruk” with traditional architecture and offers affordable retreat accommodation of RM100 per pax per nite inclusive of bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner; fresh mountain air and spring water plus a 300-foot waterfall; primary forests; heritage trails; beautiful mountain scenery; a Bidayuh bamboo bridge; wild birds, insects, plants and flowers; and many more.
“There is a legend saying that Bung Bratak’s past settlers lived up to 100 years because they enjoyed fresh mountain air, clean and fresh spring water, and having lots of exercise due to farming and padi planting at the downhills and foothills.
“There is also spring water at Bung Bratak that, if taken and bathed in, would cure simple ailments like flu and fever. I myself believe in the elders’ words and legends,” said Peter. — DayakDaily