People & language
Ready, steady, concentrate: half of Sarawak’s population is made up of Malays and Chinese, while indigenous tribes make up the other half. The state’s largest tribe, the Iban, constitute 30 percent of the population and they, along with the Melanau, comprise the Sea Dayaks who actually live along the river valleys. The Land Dayaks live up in the hills, represented largely by the southwestern Sarawakian Bidayuh, and the Orang Ulu, which include the nomadic Penans, live in upriver regions. Phew.
Say thank you to an Iban: ‘tabik basa’
A phrase you’ll definitely hear more than once – ‘aram ngirup mih kitai!’ – ‘let’s all drink!’