Kampong Belimbing: From Head Hunter Tribe to Friendly Community

Kampong Belimbing is a small village in the southern part of Kuching, Malaysia that occupied by Bidayuh ethnic group. It’s about 60 km from Kuching City. The total area of this village is 42.70 acres. The population approximately 400 people now, most of them are Muslim. Sometimes before this village was called gelimbing, now it had changed to belimbing. Gelimbing and belimbing have the same meaning. Village people said that sometimes ago there are many belimbing trees in this village. But now there is only one tree left located near the “barok” or village hall.

They had been living in a long house made from wood since 1954 after they leave their original houses in the mountain as the result of social issues and religion. The housing design is a mixture of Malay and Bidayuh culture. Before practicing Islam, this community believes in traditional practice called pagan, they collected their enemy skull to do their ritual. Then they hang it in the roof inside their houses. That was the reason behind the head hunter nickname. Although today they have left their cultural tradition which is contrary to Islamic doctrine, but they still manage to keep their traditional dance, music and games.

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Kampong Belimbing Long House

Today they lived as a palm oil farmer under Malaysian Government Organization called FELCRA, and to improve their income the village agreed to join homestay program and tourism activities. With their motto “anak orang anak kita”, which means they consider everyone as their children, Kampong Belimbing transforms into a homestay village for everyone. They welcome people to stay and experience their harmonic live with nature. Tracking and hiking in the heavy rain forest to find the gorgeous Rafflesia Arnoldy flower is their main attraction. Besides they also bring us to the original houses of Bidayuh Ethnic group inside the mountain and also teach us their traditional dance, music and games. And last but not least their traditional food. The most important one we could learn harmony, respect, and a sense of belonging toward each other and nature. These norms were practiced to ensure the secure feeling inside the village and among the people.

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qwqwqLearning traditional dance and games

P1050692Tracking in the forest to find rafflesia arnoldy

Trough homestay, they had managed to develop their economic activities and to preserve their tradition and culture. The economic development of Kampong Belimbing has brought modernization to this village. It can be seen from the usage of some modern tools such as a washing machine, TV, DVD, and some even have home theatre. Some of them have managed to buy a car as transportation to the nearest city. It means today the community has been able to live a good life with sufficient income. Furthermore, it’s not only improves their quality of life but also manage to preserve their tradition, culture, and environment.

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Me and my homestay family

Kampong Belimbing Homestay: Jalan Padawan, 94700 Kuching, SK, Malaysia +60 82-863 796

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