Preserve Ngepan Iban for cultural sustainability, workshop participants told

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Monica (second right) receives a memento from Jenny while others look on.

MIRI (July 9): The preservation of ‘Ngepan Iban’ or the traditional costumes of the Iban is vital as they represent the culture of the Iban ethnic, said Monica Ukong, wife of Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil.

Speaking as a guest of honour during the launching of Miri Sarakup Indu Dayak Sarawak’s (SIDS Miri) workshop on ‘Ngepan Iban’ at a leading hotel here yesterday, Monica lauded SIDS Miri’s efforts in hosting such event that could help promote the cultural attire and preserve its traditional craftsmanship.

“Through this activity, we not only share our knowledge on Iban’s traditional attire with our own community, but also with the other races,” said Monica, while expressing the need to engage the younger generation in the cultural preservation efforts.

Adding on, she noted that she and her family had been collecting Ngepan Iban over the years and shared her pride over their collections.

“I keep the Ngepan Iban so that my children can inherit the family’s cultural heirloom one day, and also for this cultural attire to sustain in the modern world,” she said.

SIDS Miri chairlady Jenny Jeli, meanwhile, remarked that the workshop is a subsequent follow-up to the state’s level Ngepan Iban conference which was organised in February this year.

It aimed to showcase Ngepan Iban as an identity of the Iban community, while at the same time to promote traditional costumes to modern fashion.

“It is also part of our efforts to preserve and uphold the culture and traditions of the Iban community, with the engagement of the younger generations,” she added.