In the shelter of family trees

loading

Sunset over Demaring Hill, where Padan Ukab’s ancestors used to roam.

The intimacy of the questions used to surprise me, but I have now become accustomed to being asked who my adoptive parents are or husband is. It’s not inquisitiveness, although it can feel that way to a city person brought up on ideas of individualism. It is, instead, a way of finding out how I fit into the intricate and complex structure of the close-knit community of Ba Kelalan.
Knowing who my adoptive parents are or who my husband is immediately reveals how I’m related to everyone else in the village. And based on that, they can tell how they are related to me.


To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.



Related Articles

FOOTPRINTS
Jan 2017

Imagined Communities, Real Women

Captivating stories of Malaysian women in history are gradually being told.

FOOTPRINTS
Dec 2016

Adapting Art to Tell Stories of Sabah

Artistic minds create surprising ways of moulding traditional elements with trendy streetwear.

FOOTPRINTS
Nov 2016

Zero Waste for Quality Living

A greener lifestyle works wonders on the pocket, freeing one to truly enjoy life.

FOOTPRINTS
Oct 2016

Malaysia’s Oldest Pipe Organ Is Back In Shape

A community’s efforts and some serendipity have kept the Church of the Assumption’s majestic pipe organ in tip-top shape.