September 7, 2016

Sarawakian Local Delights : The Iban Woman Oil Palm Smallholder

this is my Iban friend's mother, Indai Patrick. She has inherited a plot of land from her grandmother in Niah and has been cultivating oil palms for more than 5 years. Her husband is a Chinese civil servant from Kuching. Both have been working hard in the small holding at their spare time.

today, the family is enjoying the fruits of their labour.

A staunch Roman Catholic, she makes sure that her children and grand children come together to say their prayers and attend MASS whenever they can. One day they will get their own vehicle. At the moment she is strong enough to carry all these to a small Ford f-wheel, which she pays 50 ringgit per load.

"In the past she and her parents depended on padi, rubber and jungle products. Today, oil palm is No.1 Cash Crop," she told me.

May God bless you and your honest labour!!

September 6, 2016

Sarawakian Local Delights :Duck Rearing in the Rajang Valley

Ducks were actually brought over from China by the early Chinese migrants (Need more research here).

Since 1901, ducks have been reared by the Foochows along the Rajang Valley.

Today as more and more Foochows have moved to the towns of Sarawak and even to other parts of the world. duck rearing has been a domain of the Ibans, Malays and other races.

In one farm, an Iban woman said that she is "the half way house". She shares her duck rearing business with a foochow towkay and after the ducks are matured, they are sold to restaurants  in Sibu.
Business is good and often she and her partner do not have enough ducks to sell.

All her ducks have to be very mature, otherwise the small feathers ( which the Foochows call, under feathers) cannot be easily "plucked". That is to say, dressing the duck becomes extremely difficult.

The skin of the duck is an essential part which makes the duck soup awesome according to our Foochow elders.