Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kelabit Generosity

When you stand at one end of the longhouse at dinner time, you can look down to the other end and see all the fireplaces roasting meats, cooking rice or making different foods.  At meal times, everyone always gathers around the fire to share the food and fill each other in on what has happened during the day or inform each other about changes in the farm.
It's hard to see, but there are two other fireplaces behind the front-most one
When I was young, I remember all the aunties sharing any food they had with the relative hosting visitors.  Bario Asal is located in the middle of many other villages and so it is a common route to take when traveling to another village.   We used to have a lot of visitors when I was a little girl.  At meal times, the aunties would pass extra nuba’ laya’ or meats to the relative hosting the visitor to make sure they were well taken care of.  I love this about my culture.  This innate behavior is the Kelabit way and is why we are known as “the land of a hundred handshakes.”