BINTULU: Peninsular Malaysian students, on a visit here last week, expressed their admiration for the unique culture, traditions and unity they experienced in Sarawak.
The students, who were participating in a foster family programme (Titian Integrasi IPT 2009), agreed that Sarawak should be an example for those in the peninsular to follow.
Some 60 students had the opportunity to experience the local way of life when they visited Rumah Jilan Agam in the Sebauh sub-district recently.
Among Iban traditions they witnessed were the Niki Tangga, sitting in the ruai, miring and cultural performances such as ngajat, beramban, nungku padi and merebah renyai.
Chin Han Wei, 23, from Perak said the programme allowed him insight on the diversity of local cultures and traditions.
He said the unity of the community and the freedom to practice their respective traditions should be emulated by Peninsular Malaysians.
“I would love to apply all the good things I’ve learnt here when I go back, especially on the RUkun Tetangga programme because it seems to be able to foster unity and cooperation among the communities,” said Chin.
For Mohammad Azwan Ibrahim, 20, from Kuala Lumpur, the programme is ideal for university students in particular during semester breaks.
“I’m enjoying myself in this programme because for the past two years studying here this is my first time going to the Iban longhouse in Sarawak.
“This is a rare opportunity for me to experience the life in longhouse, which should not be missed by anyone because we are taught about the tradition and culture,” said Mohammad.
Penang student Yaashinni Peraniandy, 20, agreed.
“This programme is actually effective to strengthen the unity among the multi-racial communities in Malaysia.
“For me, this programme should be continued since it gives more advantages and also creates solidarity and understanding between the races in this state and might be effective in the peninsula,” she added.
The four-day programme was jointly organised by the National Integration and Unity department along with the Resident’s Office.