Association mulls building Dayak Cultural Centre

Judah (right) aspires to have a Dayak Centre resembling the ones in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Seated beside him is Manggor.

KUCHING: Newly registered Sarawak Dayak Culture Association (PKDS) plans to build a Dayak cultural centre here similar to the Dayak centre in Pontianak, Indonesia.

Its chairman Judah Anom said the proposed cultural centre will reflect the identities and cultures of the various Dayak groups in the state.

“The association is looking to buy a land along Kuching-Serian Road to build the centre.

“Building the centre is a top priority for PKDS which has been registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS),” he said adding the proposed centre would cost about RM6.5 million including the cost of the land.

He said he is inspired to build the centre after his few trips to Pontianak, West Kalimantan, over the past years.

“In Pontianak, the Dayak cultural centres are designed to reflect the traditions, customs and identities of the various Dayak communities in Kalimantan.

“They use these centres for Gawai celebrations, cultural sports and other festivities. In the recent Gawai Dayak celebrations, thousands flocked to these centres to celebrate the occasion,” he said.

If the construction becomes a reality, he said that the centre can also be a tourist attraction.

“We will incorporate an exhibition centre-cum-mini museum and handicraft centre, meeting hall and administrative office into the centre,” he said.

He added that the exhibition centre will showcase photographs of famous Dayak personalities like former Dayak paramount chief Tun Jugah anak Barieng, Dayak former chief ministers, Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan and Datuk Tawi Sli, diving queen Pandelela Rinong, war hero or ‘Bujang Berani’ Kanang anak Langkau, famous Iban evergreen singers like Andrewson Ngalai, Michael Jemat, Ricky L., and some others.

He said that the centre will also have its own hostel for visitors especially the foreign tourists who might want to stay overnight at the centre.

Meanwhile, he said that the association will launch a recruitment drive to get more Dayaks or Sarawakians of Dayak parentage and who are above 18 years old to become members.

He said that an eligible person only needs to pay RM50 for a life membership.

Interested members of the Dayak community may contact PKDS secretary William Manggor at 017-8590533.


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