‘Play your gongs and wear your costumes’

Dr Jerip being welcomed by Bianah association leaders upon his arrival at the Siburan community hall.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Dec 9: In order to progress, the Bidayuhs, especially the Bianah sub-ethnic group, must preserve their culture in order to safeguard their identity, said Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.

“Tonight, I’m giving an allocation of RM50,000 for your association to buy gongs and costumes to preserve your identity.

“I want you all, especially the younger generation, to be able to play your gongs and wear your costumes. This way, you can preserve your culture, which is your unique identity,” he said at the Persatuan Bianah Annual Dinner and Excellence Awards Ceremony 2018 held at Siburan community hall last night.

Dr Jerip being welcomed by Bianah maidens upon his arrival at Siburan community hall.

In reminding those present that cultural preservation transcended both religion and politics, Dr Jerip also advised them to preserve their unique dialect.

“Please help preserve our dialect. It is your heritage that must be preserved, especially among the younger generation,” he stressed.

Dr Jerip also emphasised the importance of maintaining unity at all levels as “that is the only way we can progress and be developed”.

On education, he challenged the 15 Bianah villages to produce as many graduates as possible in order to further advance the community.

“We must continue to put greater emphasis on education as it is crucial to compete with other communities in this borderless world,” he stressed.

Dr Jerip (eighth from left) receiving a memento from Persatuan Bianah Deputy president Baka Riden (sixth from left).

At the function, Dr Jerip gave away incentives to students who obtained excellent results.

Meanwhile, he also commended them for their effort to carry out land documentation and advised them to cooperate among themselves so that they could get their land titled in future.

“I want the Bianah people to work closely on land documentation. This will ensure that our land is protected,” he added.

The highlight of the night was Dr Jerip belting out a few songs, where he managed to raise RM13,000 for his ‘golden voice’. — DayakDaily