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ETHNIC INFORMATION:
The ethnic Chinese in Sarawak mostly consists of Hakka (which speak Hokkien) and Foochow descent (mainly found in Sibu). About one-third of the state population of Sarawak is of Chinese descent. They migrated from various parts of mainland China in the early 1900s under a special immigration programme spearheaded by the-then Rajah of Sarawak to develop the state's farming industry. Today, the Chinese of Sarawak has been transformed into a powerful middle-class society that operates and owns various lucrative economic activities such as logging, construction, manufacturing, etc. Ethnic Chinese can be found mostly in various town centres around the state such as Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

THE HOUSE:
While most modern-day Chinese of Sarawak lives in brick terrace houses and bungalows, the cultural showcase in this village presents a typical Chinese farmhouse. The house is built on ground level unlike most tribal houses in Sarawak which are built on raised platforms some metres above ground. The house is made of basic sawn timber and the floor surprising reveals the bare earth (of either clay soil, or sands). The roof (atap) is made of leaves taken from local-grown rumbia trees which are known to withstand the test of time.

There are two main divisions in the farmhouse - the communal living area which has the kitchen, dining tables and storage space for personal belongings, as well as the bedroom. The communal area also features an important shrine where the house residents will offer their daily prayers.

The village personnel attending the house can also demonstrate a few traditional methods on processing bird's nests, grinding black peppers, making Chinese tea, assembling Chinese brooches, and sculpting clay potteries. In fact, right outside the farmhouse, there is a traditional furnace used to bake the potteries into the hardened stoneware we commonly seen in souvenir stores.

MY VERDICT:
Quite unique but not too impressive.

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