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Monday, 5 August 2013

Tuak - A dying Art

"Tuak" is the what the Iban community name their alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice, yeast and sugar basically it is also referred to as rice wine. The beverage is a popular drink among the Ibans and other Dayaks of Sarawak during the Gawai festivals, weddings, hosting of guests and other special occasions. ‘Tuak’, ‘ Burak’, ‘ Montaku’, ‘ Sake’, ‘ Berem’ or rice wine is actually drank by most community in Borneo and the world generally but having different names and base ingredients.

Tuak is a dying art. Why?

There is no proper exposure as to really promote Tuak to the world. The only commercial tuak that I know is the “Royalist”.

Thank you for a proactive initiative done by Mr. Agustus Sapen under the Persatuan Warisan Sarawak Kuala Lumpur for organising the Tuak Education and Appreciation Session recently at Leonardo’s , Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Truly it was and event to be commended because it managed to bring people particularly from the Peninsular Malaysia to know more about the dying art of making Tuak.

The crowd was reasonably large considering the size of the cosy event venue and I can see that Agustus managed to educate the crowd on how Tuak is made, including myself (perhaps I should be making a batch too!). Participants had a great time by sampling myriad range of Tuak from different Tuak makers from Sarawak and also rice wine from other parts of the world.

Tuak making should be revived because it is an art; an art which requires immense skill to make a great Tuak. One of a community’s value is known through its skill in certain art, so why not make Iban community be known as the Tuak Master, master in making it that is. Make a name for yourself, and this is a wake up call for other Borneo community as well because you too have your special brew and distinct characteristics of your rice wine.

                                      Going to the venue

At the venue, Leonardo's
With Mr. Agustus Sapen
One happy face, Mr Francis Kanyan
More happy faces
Yes I agree that Tuak making process is a tedious one but with proper education and hygiene guidelines I am sure that Tuak will make its way like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Rose of the foreign land.