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My life as Sarawakian in Semenanjung Malaysia

16 September 2022

Happy Malaysia day!
Since it's Malaysia day today so I wanted to share something that I always wanted to share before but never share because I just don't know how to start write about it. It's about my life as Sarawakian in Semenanjung Malaysia.
I've been lived here in Semenanjung for more than 10 years or I spent my 20s - 30s years here now.

Just a little background of me.
I come from Sarawak, specifically from Kg Data Kakus, Belaga, Sarawak 
I have 2 kind of introductions whenever people ask where I am from, depends on people asked me,
If someone that asked me where I come from is from Semenanjung or Sabah, I will tell them I am from Bintulu,Sarawak.
If someone that asked from Sarawak, I will tell them I am from Belaga.
Why I have 2 kind of introduction?
I'm trying to make it easy for everyone hahaha. Its will be hard to explain where Belaga to non Sarawkian.
I am Kenyah Badeng or Orang Ulu.

My first time came to Semenanjung Malaysia- 2007
I come to Semenanjung for the first time in 2007 to continue my study in Bachelor of Electronic Engineering. I studied for 4 years at University Malaysia Perlis( Northern part of Semenanjung Malaysia), I really love there. 
I started to learn how to lived in Semenanjung Malaysia during this time (my study time). I learned the slang, what they eat and how to socialize. Its totally different for me and this is something new for me.
 I am proud being Orang Ulu in Semenanjung and at the same time, I need to adapt with people here. I choose to come here so I need to adapt and at the same time, never forget where I'm come from.
During my 4 years at Perlis, I got to know all types of races like Malay, Indian, Chinese and also people from Sabah as well. Due to this, I can easily understand and adapt to how people lived here.
One funny story, I never ever experience eating nasi pulut and durian for breakfast.I ate this for breakfast for the first time ever in Perlis. I just don't get it at first but I can say, its taste good. 

We choose to live here
After I completed my study, I choose to find a job in the Klang Valley because I know it will be good for my career and I get the job at Klang Valley or specifically at Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor and I've been working here for almost 10 years. 
During these 10 years, I learned and adapted to lived in this environment. I know how to drive here but I scared to drive at my hometown.
Never forget that, sometimes my bahasa baku will come out especially after I going back from my holiday and sometimes my slang Semenanjung come out when I at sarawak and people think im saja2 kluar slang.

After more than 10 years lived here, I can say I am adapt too well already. I cant really live without all the basic necessity like highway, air terawat, electric, good wifi and even the humidity.My skin already adapting well with Semenanjung humidity. It's different with Sarawak, you know.Whenever I go back to Sarawak, my face will have something wrong due to the humidity differences. But, I just don't care!

I also bought my house here and met my husband here as well. So, we choose to lived here for now. We missed home definitely but Semenanjung Malaysia also our home. For now, we will lived here and when the time come or when God make a way, we will definitely going back to our home ( Borneo).

The challenges that I faced as Sarawakian in Semenanjung
This is my own experience so I am not sure how about others.

1. My slang
I used to speak Bahasa Malaysia baku, no slang Semenanjung at all. When I asked somebody, they seems confused and feel funny. But now, I can adapt already.

2. My name 
Sometimes when people see my name for the very first time, they just confused, am I Malaysian or what? My name is so different or sometimes they said it's weird! Because Paya in Bahasa Melayu mean kawasan di tepi sungai tu.

3. My race
I'm Orang Ulu and some people I met still "underestimate" my race. Underestimate here mean, they still think we lived atas pokok and wearing cawat. Sometimes people said it in joking way but sometimes it go deep inside my heart.
I still remember, there's someone said to me, if I be with him, I will be mistakenly me as their maid. You know lah who said that to me! It's obvious! hahaha, I don't take that to my heart but I make it as my semangat untuk being better. 

4.  The food
I always missed Sarawakian food like Mee Kolok/Kompua, Laksa Sarawak or just a simple meal that made in Sarawak. Food always love.

I've face many challenges but I forget about it because it's not deserve to be on my mind.

Happy Malaysia day 2022!

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Welcome to my Blog. I’m Aya. I’m Orang Ulu from Sarawak, stay in Selangor. Married with one child. I worked as Test Consultant & Blogger. For any enquiry email to :

Follow me on Instagram (@keriitleto.paya)