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ETHNIC INFORMATION:
The ethnic Malay of Sarawak is pretty much similar to its counterpart in the Peninsula of Malaysia with the exception of some local dialects commonly associated in Sarawak. The Malays make up about one-fifth of the total population in Sarawak. They are commonly known to be politicians and businessmen with strategic influences all over the state. In fact, the current Chief Minister of Sarawak is an ethnic Malay.

In general, ethnic Malay is often associated with ethnic Melanau when it comes to religious beliefs (both mostly profess the religion of Islam) and some similarities in cultural practices.

THE HOUSE:
The showcase house is taken out from a typical home design of traditional Malay villages commonly found in parts of Sarawak and most parts of Peninsula Malaysia. The house is built on stilts some metres above ground. There is a reason for that; houses built on the ground are prone to be flooded and not to mention the uninvited guests in the form of crawling creatures (snakes, centipedes, etc).

It is a customary practice to open your shoes at the veranda prior to entering a Malay house. At the communal living area, village personnel were seen playing with a traditional game of congkak (try it, it is quite fun) while chit-chatting about their daily life. The middle section of the house is considered to be the bedroom area, although I have seen atypical designs where there are further separation walls as demarcation of the proper bedroom. After the bedroom area, you can see the kitchen area with cooking utensils and dining tables.

There is a unique feature that I found at Rumah Melayu in the cultural village. There is an attic above the bedroom area connected by a wooden staircase. I managed to climb up the attic to see the internals. It is used commonly for storage space only and not for communal living mainly due to the relatively hotter air close to the rooftop. Another common but unique feature of a Malay house is the open-air grills on the side windows to allow better air circulation.

Outside the house compound is a special pavilion where top spinning (main gasing) sessions are occasionally demonstrated to the public.

MY VERDICT:
Unique for non-Malay visitors.

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