Sunday, November 24, 2013

Durian stops

Temporary durian stalls by the Sarawak trunk road, erected during the durian season

 The end of year is a time of fruits festival in Sarawak with the Durian lovingly called 'king of the fruits' forever claiming its welcome place in the hearts of Sarawakians as the year is about to roll over.  Traveling along the Sarawak trunk road from Bintulu to Kuching (600 km long) is not really a pleasant trip with many winding and narrow roads that are and in many places continuously under repair or re-construction.  It is a never ending sour sad story for Sarawakians and reflecting much of the 'raw deal' episode of the Malaysia Agreement that Sarawakians have to live by even after 50 years of independence in Malaysia.  But with the end of the year, Sarawakians turn jovial and a happy lot with the durians becoming the centerpiece of conversations anywhere with anybody anyhow.  In Sarawak there is the added plus that you can find all sorts of durians here which cannot be found in Peninsular Malaysia like the 'Nyekek' (Durio kutejensis) , 'Tutong' (Durio dulcis), "Munyit" (Durio grandilorus) and the 'Isu' (Durio oxleyanus).
Selling durians at Sibu central market - vendors of all races meet to sell various durian species from their own gardens in an atmosphere of festivity, racial harmony and happy end of year seasonal bonus.

"Isu" or Durian Umot (Bidayuh) - Durio oxleyanus

Durio zibethinus - this is the more popular and easily available type of durian sold at many towns in Sarawak and also along the rural countryside stalls

When the Durian is in season, other local fruits like the black 'Dabai',red 'Kundong' or hairy Rambutan join in the end of year party.

Typical Iban longhouse along Sarawak trunk road where durian trees are grown nearby the longhouse in fruit gardens that face extinction due to the onslaught of the new golden crop - oil palm trees.

The contention of a 'raw deal' in the Malaysia agreement - poor quality roads for Sarawak compared with expressways in Peninsular Malaysia.
But this sad sour story is brushed aside at the end of the year with the durians making Sarawakians a happier and satisfied lot...
Year in year out, the pricky question of a raw deal is happily forgotten for the 'heavenly' taste of the the durians.  Sarawakians are a patient lot. Thanks to the durian - forget the pricky part, just enjoy the thick buttery flesh.

No comments:

Post a Comment