Showing posts with label Languages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Languages. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sarawak Embraces Ethnic Diversity

People of Sarawak

8 Feb 2011 03:00 Africa/Lagos

Sarawak Embraces Ethnic Diversity

KUTCHING, SARAWAK, Malaysia, February 8, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- One of the most attractive features of Sarawak, setting it apart from many of Malaysia's other states, is its cultural diversity. Sarawak has a population of 2.5 million, with 27 distinct indigenous ethnic groups that speak at least 45 different languages and dialects.

The State's socio-economic development has helped to develop a progressive community with a strong ethnic identity among its people regardless of their origins or religious beliefs. Half of Sarawak's population live in rural areas; the other half live in towns. Of the 27 ethnic groups, all except the Chinese and the Indians are indigenous. Sarawak's cities and towns are generally populated by Chinese and Malays and a growing number of indigenous people who have migrated from rural villages.

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said:

"A strong Sarawak cannot exist unless all races unite. We cannot build our State and fulfill our aspirations without working together."

Increasingly, employment and business opportunities are being created for the people of Sarawak, including those in rural areas predominantly populated by indigenous communities, as more industrial and commercial projects are implemented in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) development area. SCORE, one of five regional development corridors throughout Malaysia, will transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2020. Focussing on five major growth nodes - Tanjung Manis, Samalaju, Mukah, Baram and Tunoh - SCORE will develop 10 key industries including hydropower, heavy industry and tourism. Baram, currently a rural and underdeveloped area, will benefit from a new hydro dam. As a result, the district will attract a wide range of industries such as palm oil, pulp and paper and timber which will provide job opportunities for the indigenous people living there and ensure that Baram is not excluded from mainstream development.

Sarawak is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia because of its rich cultural diversity. A variety of colorful festivals, rituals and practices attract tourists all year around. Tucked away on the foothills of legendary Mount Santubong, 35 km from Kuching, is Sarawak's fascinating cultural showcase, the "Sarawak Cultural Village" which is also the venue for the internationally renowned Rainforest World Music Festival. This living museum depicts the heritage of Sarawak's major racial groups and portrays their respective lifestyles amidst 14 acres of tropical vegetation and attracts thousands of visitors a year.

The Ibans, members of a major ethnic group in Sarawak, were once the legendary warriors of Borneo; the most feared of the headhunting tribes. These days, they have adopted a peaceful agrarian lifestyle. There are also the Bidayuhs (land inhabitants), known as the "Land Dayaks"; the Melanau fishermen of Central Sarawak, and the multitude of upriver tribes who collectively form the Orang Ulu. The Penans are the guardians of the rainforest and although most of them have now formed permanent settlements, a negligible number of Penans still live in nomadic communities.

Source: Asia Newswire

Contact:, Phone: +60138269132, Viv Jemmett

Monday, May 18, 2009

Audio Bibles Reaching Oral Cultures

15 May 2009 12:04 Africa/Lagos

Audio Bibles Reaching Oral Cultures

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost Audio Bible ministry, recently released Audio Bibles in eight more languages.

-- French (Parole de Vie) -- Canada
-- Romane Vlax -- Chile
-- Kikongo -- Democratic Republic of the Congo
-- Kiswahili, Congo -- Democratic Republic of the Congo
-- Kituba -- Democratic Republic of the Congo
-- Mumuye -- Nigeria
-- Konkani -- India

-- Madurese -- Indonesia

These new Audio Bibles represent more than 32 million people on five continents.

Research shows that half of the world's people can't read. So, of the people who speak these languages, that means about 16 million are completely cut off from the written Word.

Audio Bibles for Oral Cultures

"Most of the world's people live in oral cultures," said Morgan Jackson, Faith Comes By Hearing's international director. "They learn about their history and transmit their values through songs, chants, stories and drama."

"But when they listen to the Bible, oral people don't separate themselves from the stories. As they listen they are drawn in and find themselves, in their minds, walking alongside Jesus."

"When the Kabiye people of Togo heard the Word of God in their language for the first time, their reaction was 'God speaks our language. We don't need a translator to talk to God. God can address us directly.' And, for so many around the world, they've been told and taught that God doesn't understand their prayers," Jackson said.

Faith Comes By Hearing is working with other Bible-related ministries to bring the Word of God to every nation, tribe and tongue.

With each month, Faith Comes By Hearing comes closer to their goal of recording the New Testament in 2,000 languages by the year 2016. When accomplished, the Audio Bibles in those languages will reach more than 90% of the world's speakers.

Faith Comes By Hearing now has 432 Audio Scripture recordings available in 366 languages. Nearly 400 of these Audio Bibles are available for free download at

Source: Faith Comes By Hearing

CONTACT: Jon Wilke of Faith Comes By Hearing, +1-505-881-3321,

Web Site: