Village prepares traditional feast for PM's visit
BINTULU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will attend a berlanggar ceremony at Kampung Assyakirin here today.
Berlanggar is an old Melanau term which means "feast".
The prime minister will be feted with traditional delicacies during the event.
"This term is seldom used these days. We usually use the term majlis ramah tamah. But since the prime minister is coming to our village for the first time, we will give him a traditional treat, something which has been passed down to us from earlier generations," said village community secretary Mohamad Sahari.
One significant tradition during the berlanggar is that the food for the guests will be covered with a sheer headscarf.
"This is a sign of respect for our guests. They are given the honour of 'revealing' the food served on the table," said Mohamad.
Another traditional ceremony carried out during the berlanggar is the cutting of the kek kepala meja.
"Only the guest of honour will have the privilege of cutting the cake. Once this is done, the ceremony will officially start," said Mohamad.
Even the kek kepala meja, or main cake, for the ceremony is made in the traditional manner.
Village baker Aishah Peri, 56, said: "If we use modern methods to make the cake, it will sink. It can only be done by hand."
Aishah said the cake, which the Melanau community calls bahulu lapes rapah may look similar to the Sarawak layer cake, but instead of the sweet, colourful pastry of the latter, it has a tinge of cinnamon.