Tuesday, May 27, 2008

:: Tuak: Bidayuh culture

NST Online » NewsBreak2008/05/26

'Tuak' part and parcel of Bidayuh culture, says minister
By : Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, MON: Public Health and Environment Minister Datuk Michael Manyin said consuming "tuak" (fermented rice wine) is part and parcel of the Bidayuh culture.

As such, he said he would oppose any move by any quarter to advise the Bidayuhs against consuming tuak during Gawai. "I don't believe we should stop drinking tuak," he said, obviously in reference to recent calls from groups advising the Dayaks, including the Bidayuh, to stay away from the fermented brew. "But we should know our limit, when not to over-consume," he said at the pre-Gawai Dayak gathering organised by the Dayak Bidayuh National Association, Kuching branch, at KM30 Kuching-Serian Road here yesterday night. Although the Bidayuhs were not known to be "great" drinkers, he said tuak was compulsory as part of the Gawai rituals and ceremony.

Manyin also wanted the community to keep their cultures and traditions alive."Our cultures identify us as Bidayuhs and our roots and civilisation," he added.