The Sarawak Almanac is just so uniquely Sarawak that I cannot really explain to someone who does not see it as thus.
I cannot remember exactly when I started using one as it has always been around me. But the first time I was "awarded" one was when I taught in the Limbang Government School in 1974 and the Principal gave out one to each Head of Department. It thus became a kind of "award and or reward" for a Sarawak civil servant who has a "position which requires an Almanac". That is how I look at it in one way. Government bodies are given free limited copies in the past. I am not sure about the situation now. Those who hold lesser posts have to buy their own or just have to refer to the free ones lying around the staff room. There were even small jealousies caused by the awarding of the Almanac. Little trickling of " kiasuism " over a small government issued Almanac.
Years later I found out that some friends who used to serve in Sarawak also treasure it and I started giving the Almanac as gifts. Several years ago I made the Almanac my special Christmas gift and sent them out as postal gifts to these Friends of Sarawak i.e. friends who have served alongside me in Sarawak and are now back home in their own countries. But because of mobility and cost of postage and also the Internet a calendar slowly becomes just a desk top or shelf top item rather than a necessity like in the olden days.
I was very happy when a friend wrote from overseas "now I can tell when Chinese New Year is exactly without having to go to Chinatown" using the Almanac I sent.
The Sarawak Almanac has three calendars in one ie Gregorian and Lunar and Muslim calendars!! It is indeed a unusual reference.
This is my 2008 Almanac . By the way I received a free one at the beginning of year when the company offered me a spare copy after giving out to all the Heads of Department. This gift is really treasured and sits on my small desk. My reading glasses are kept at its traingular base for quick retrieval.
What I like most about the almanac is the chronology printed at the back of each month. I can easily refer to the some very significant years and historical incidents by just flipping the pages and there I have easy references from 1842 until this present year. Do you know that a Cutch factory was built in Sarikei District? When was that? Check out the Almanac.
This is a Brooke legacy . For those who do not know much about pre-1963 Malaysian - Sarawak History the Almanac is indeed a good quick history fix.
The Almanac is useful because it has a complete page for school terms and holidays.
It also has other important facts like king tide predictions and all the Chinese Festivals and Muslim Festivals and with lots of details too.
So for a mere (hopefully controlled) price of RM6.50 in the free market it is a very very good calendar to buy.
It is indeed an uniquely Sarawak item. One of a kind in the world!!
Don't leave Sarawak without one! (replicating the Visa advertisement) and to all my fellow Sarawakians do value this little treasure!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Memoir by I Am Sarawakiana at 6:06 AM