Sarawak Malay Drums: Social Interaction Among the Ethnic of Basin Sadong

Ab. Samad Kechot, Rahim Aman, Shahidi A.H

Abstract


Performing arts music is often regarded as a mere entertainment medium. But in this study, the researchers try to explore a different role this musical performances can offer, that is, to foster social relationships in the community. By making the performing arts program Sarawak Malay drum music as a subject of study, this study uses secondary and primary approach to obtain its data. Independent and structured face to face interviews with expert informants is an important tool to obtain information.  The fieldwork site focuses on Sarawak Malay community living in and around Kuching, Simunjan village and its surroundings, including members of the society among the Iban, Chinese and Melanaus. Acknowledging the fact that the Sarawak Malay drum performance is a popular art activity among the Malay community in Sarawak, thus making this performance as our case study, this study tries to see the extent the Malay drum performance of Sarawak is able to strengthen relationship between members of the community.  Preliminary findings show that the adults and older generation Malays along Sadong river, Kampung Simunjan are very interested with the Malay drum performances and often show up at the said event. Even those involved will contribute in the form of energy, moral and financial support to ensure the success of the Sarawak Malay Drums performance, creating a collaborative practice or 'gotong-royong'. Other ethnic groups such as Iban, Chinese and Melanaus are aware of the existence of this music art ‘Gendang Melayu Sarawak’ and accepting it as one of the cultural traditions of the people in Sarawak.


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Performing arts music is often regarded as a mere entertainment medium. But in this study, the researchers try to explore a different role this musical performances can offer, that is, to foster social relationships in the community. By making the performing arts program Sarawak Malay drum music as a subject of study, this study uses secondary and primary approach to obtain its data. Independent and structured face to face interviews with expert informants is an important tool to obtain information. The fieldwork site focuses on Sarawak Malay community living in and around Kuching, Simunjan village and its surroundings, including members of the society among the Iban, Chinese and Melanaus. Acknowledging the fact that the Sarawak Malay drum performance is a popular art activity among the Malay community in Sarawak, thus making this performance as our case study, this study tries to see the extent the Malay drum performance of Sarawak is able to strengthen relationship between members of the community. Preliminary findings show that the adults and older generation Malays along Sadong river, Kampung Simunjan are very interested with the Malay drum performances and often show up at the said event. Even those involved will contribute in the form of energy, moral and financial support to ensure the success of the Sarawak Malay Drums performance, creating a collaborative practice or 'gotong-royong'. Other ethnic groups such as Iban, Chinese and Melanaus are aware of the existence of this music art ‘Gendang Melayu Sarawak’ and accepting it as one of the cultural traditions of the people in Sarawak.


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