Workshop seeks to preserve Bidayuh traditional music

Dr Jerip (back row, eighth right) joins DBNA supreme council members, speakers and workshop participants in a group photo.

KUCHING: A recent workshop on Bidayuh traditional music, conducted by Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), could be seen as a move to intensify efforts in having a proper documentation of various musical instruments of the community.

The one-day session, held at DBNA multi-purpose hall here last Saturday, gathered some 100 participants comprising the ‘pirunchong’ (bamboo-based musical instruments) troupe from Kampung Pichin Serian and SMK Siburan Cultural Club, as well as DBNA members from its Bau, Penrissen, Samarahan and Padawan branches.

Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, who officiated at the closing ceremony, called upon fellow Bidayuhs to uphold and preserve their traditional music, in that it seems that the appreciation for and interest in such instruments is gradually eroding with time.

“Many instruments are almost forgotten – it is about time for us to make the effort in reviving them. Apart from languages and dialects, traditional music like the ‘bergong’, ‘ngirunchong’, ‘nchiyo’, ‘kirumboi’, ‘pretuong’ and many others are a part of our culture and identity,” he said.

Nevertheless Dr Jerip, who is Bengoh assemblyman, praised DBNA for promoting and preserving the Bidayuh musical and dancing arts all these years, as what could be seen in many cultural events such as the ‘Pesta Birumuh’ and the ‘Padawan Cultural Festival’.

The workshop was declared open by DBNA deputy president Charlie Ungang, who came on behalf of the president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.

This was followed by the presentations from speakers Joseph Jindi and Dr Clarence Jerry, and a live sapé performance by Methew Ngau and his band.

Run by DBNA sub-committee under the chairmanship of Paul Akiu Banat, the workshop was facilitated by Temenggong Hanry Sadok and Temenggong Austin Dimin.

Apart from highlighting Bidayuh traditional instruments, the workshop also talked about the need for DBNA headquarters to have its own cultural group.

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