MENGLA (CHINA): The Jejak Warisan Jawi II (JWJ2) expedition, which aimed at tracking the origins of the Malays in seven South East Asia countries and China, has made its way into China.
The 35-member expedition headed for Mohan Port, China from Vientiane, the capital of Laos through a mountainous region for about 700km for almost two days.
The JWJ2 took a breather at Luang Prabang, Laos two days ago before continuing its journey to Boten, tucked at the China-Laos border last Thursday.
“The narrow and slippery dirt road is not only dangerous but also slowed down the expedition,” said JWJ2 director Muhammad Zaid Mohd Rais.
For a member of the expedition, Herman Abdullah, he was captivated by the common heritage of the Hmong ethnic group, whose villages are located on the upper slopes of the mountains.
“Hmong women wear batik with flora and fauna motif, very much akin to the Malaysian batik.
“It is interesting because the legacy of our batik is seen thousands of km away from home among an ethnic group here,” he said. — Bernama
Another JW2 member, Azrol Roni, 25, said the flora and fauna along the route were different and the picturesque mountains were like Chinese ancient paintings.
For Mohd Salleh Ahmad and Muzelysham Mustafa, who are at the wheels, it called for guts, determination and sheer grit to manoeuvre the rough terrains at the height of about 1,300 metres above sea level with ravines beside the road.
“There were many small children playing by the roadside at certain stretches,” said Mohd Salleh.
JWJ2 coordinator Dalim Othman said the expedition would present gifts to Muslims and mosques along the way between Mohan Port and Jing Hong, about 500km apart.
Organised by Majma’ Warisan, Budaya Jawi and Putera 1Malaysia Club and supported by the Ministry of Information Communication and Culture, the JWJ2 which had entered its 15th day and had conducted activities in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
It is expected to return to Kuala Lumpur on June 19. — Bernama