May 21, 2007

Tribal Night...

Ok, so just when Anthony had you guys convinced our lives are biasa,
we go and have a night like last night.

It was fun.
But TOTALLY unexpected.
It's all Justin and Daniela's doing.
They invited us last minute.
They said, "It's some dinner thing."

Yeah right.
"Dinner" didn't quite describe what we were in for...

Someone gave them tickets and didn't tell them what it was for.
Turns out the Kelabit Tribe from Borneo was throwing a party.
They were celebrating their cultural heritage along with honoring Kelabit youth for their educational achievements.
They even flew in some villagers from Borneo.
It was like National Geographic meets History Channel meets reality TV meets a country club ballroom.

Keep in mind we knew none of this before hand.
But the pieces eventually came together.
Like, as we arrived many of the people were dressed in variations of this outfit:After all the guests arrived, the guest of honor was escorted to his seat

What a welcome!
Then there were speeches about the heritage of the people and how so much has changed in the last 50 years.
A LOT. Lemme tell ya.
50 years ago these people couldn't even read or write.
Now they've entered the modern world...yet have retained their cultural heritage...
as these videos will show.

Here's an example of some of their young people showing with a little extra som'n som'n from Justin and Anthony:

But the young people also haven't abandoned their traditions either...
Here's the ending of a traditional "harvest-hunting" dance:

During all this we were eating dinner,
but the food had become secondary to all the activities.
Particularly the Lucky Draw!Wha? A free dinner at a country club AND the chance to win a basket of goodies?
The night got better and better. (even though we didn't win)

The tribe had an incredible spiritual awakening a few decades ago that completely colors who they are as a people.
They performed a familar tune on traditional bamboo instruments:

Then the Spice Girls took the stage:

They were sitting at the table beside us and it seemed like every person in the room (500 people?) came by to greet them and take a picture.
You could tell they are deeply respected in their community.
One girl even asked to touch the middle lady's earlobe and she agreed with a smile...
The night ended with the Spice Girls (That's not my nickname either...that's what they were introduced as) serenaded the room and everyone participated in a traditional Kelabit dance.

Think "Tribal Conga Line" and you'll have it. that I'm done telling you about our night with tribal folks,
I'm gonna watch TV.
Back to normal.


Beki B said...

Play that funky music white boy? Hilarious!!!! Love the uhh "modernity" as you put it!- AWESOME!


Chanclers said...

harvest hunting dance music was my favorite. should totally get that soundtrack. put it to some awesome pictures and you've got yourself a cry fest right there.

Cara said...

You guys are officially "cultured" shoot...

SouthAsiaRocks said...

Dude that's awesome! I love surprise cultural fun things :) Were they playing "play that funky music white boy" just for you???
We got to hear a guy with a really thick accent sing "We don't need no education.." one time... that was fun :)
The spice girls were so cute!! That's awesome that that is what they were called :)
Looks like a fun trip :)Keep rockin it!