Language & Culture
Bahasa Sarawak, or 'Sarawak Langauge' is a common language used by most Sarawakians. This variant is related to Bruneian Malay, spoken in the districts of Limbang & Lawas Sarawak & Pontianak Malay, which is spoken in the neighbouring West Kalimantan province in Indonesia. It is more similar to Ibanic languages compared to Malay variants in Sumatra and the Malayan Peninsula, which makes it mutually unintelligible for Malay speakers outside of Sarawak and Borneo.
English can be widely spoken and understood amongst locals. According to the 20 points agreement, in point 2 - Malay is the national language, and English should be an official language of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) for all purposes, State or Federal, without limitation of time.
Mandarin and major chinese dialects are also widely used, well understood and conversational by many who grew up in mixed cultures.
One of the most attractive features of the state of Sarawak and one which sets it aside from many of the other states is its cultural diversity. With the 27 distinct indigenous ethnic groups that speak 45 different languages and dialects, Sarawak has complete harmony and understanding among a population of 2.1 million who adhere to a variety of traditions, practices and religions. In Miri alone one can see the diverse cultures and traditions. Sarawak is a secular state.
With such varied customs and cultures, Mirians enjoy a variety of colorful festivals throughout the calendar year.
"Open House Culture"
Sarawak's many ethnic groups all celebrate their festivals with "open house", offering visitors traditional hospitality. The major "open house" festivals are Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali, and of course, Gawai Dayak, the Iban ad Bidayuh Harvest Festival that is only celebrated in Sarawak & Sabah.
During Gawai Dayak, which falls on June 1st, some long houses are open to visits. Please call the Visitor's Information Center for more information: Call : 434181 or 434180
Taman Tunku, developed in the mid 1980s and gradually having more residential houses and commercial centers added to it is a large residential area located just beside Miri Airport spanning about 3 kilometers running from north to south with its own commercial centers within.
The area has multiple housing and commercial development within, by various different developers. However as of today there is only really one proper road access to Taman Tunku, which is via the Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. The alternative is a dirt road Jalan Lusut. This results in long traffic queues at rush hours, and if there are any accidents on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman access will be bottlenecked. A bypass road was constructed in early 2012 to ease traffic within Taman Tunku and helped some, but this did not really solve the bottlenecking at the main access road.
Taman Tunku has its own Public Library Branch.