Sunday, March 4, 2018

Saturday, Mar 4th, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia


Today, the rainy season tried for a comeback, and we dodged it in our bus.  Our morning city tour informed us of the architectural and landmark history of Kushing, and also included stops at a chinese temple and a local history museum.  Doris, our local guide, shared both her rich understanding of the chinese culture and the complexities of living in countries which contain multiple racial and religious communities.

After lunch at a large mall on the way to the airport, we boarded a flight to Miri, the second largest city in Sarawak.  We'll stay here for two nights, primarily so we can explore the Niah Cave tomorrow. 

But first, let's talk about good luck, marriage, and freedom of religion in Malaysia.  On the way out of the hotel this morning, we chatted for a few minutes with a Malaysian groom and his best men, and admired the rings and pearls they were carrying to the wedding ceremony.  Joking at his lack of nervousness, he did admit to starting to feel it.  We wished him a good life as he left the hotel. 

In the chinese temple, we learned about the tradition of placing paper figurines behind the tiger to bring good luck to those whose names are written on them.  Offerings and other ceremonial gestures are also performed during the Chinese New Year, which is now occurring. 

Coincidently, we next visited a Christian church, where I crashed the ceremony, headed for the alter, and took a few shots with the official photographer. 

And yesterday, the Sarawak Supreme Court ruled that a Christian woman, who had married and converted to Islam, could not return to her Christian faith upon her divorce.  There is evidently a limit to freedom of religion here.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Saturday, Mar 3rd, Mirs, Sarawak, Malaysia.

No comments: