‘I want to be a teacher when I grow up’

‘Why do you want to be a teacher?’

‘Because I want to be smart!’

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on July 12th 2018)

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

‘I want to be a policeman! A policeman in Peninsular Malaysia’.

“Why do you want to be a policeman?”

‘So I can catch the bad guys!’

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 12th 2018)

“I’m 90 years old. I was there during the Japanese occupation. I remember things here and there. I was in Sibu when they came to Malaya…”

“I’ve been living here for 30 years. Before that I was in Brunei and was born in Sibu. I worked as a labourer – lifting cement and bricks.

There’s a lot of health problems here. Many do not understand what diseases that they have. Mostly because they are far from the city.

Maybe in the city a lot of young people have sex before marriage. Here, if you like someone, you would marry first before initiating anything else. Some things in life don’t change”. 

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 6th 2018)

“I have a heart condition. Sometimes, I’d be in the hospital for a week then I will be sent home…”

“A few days later, I am back again at the hospital for another 1-2 weeks. One day the District Administration office sent a letter for me to go to a heart institute in Kota Samarahan. They inserted a tube to check my heart and found that I had a blockage in my heart.One of the arteries was blocked and… I’m not entirely sure what happened next. I was unconscious. I’m fine now. I realised that the Ibanese rice we eat has a lot of cholesterol. I can eat them still but I must control the amount that I eat. And I’m only 24 years old”.

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 8th 2018)

“In Iban culture, if you ‘touch’ a lady of young age, you have to marry her before doing anything…”

“In our traditions and belief, if for example, someone impregnated the girl and ran off, the growing child in the mother’s womb is a pig”.

We need to touch on topics that are considered taboo like sex before marriage to the young people here. We have cases whereby teenagers of ages 13 and 14 are having sex. Roughly 60-70{eb97150a49149dc6c9e8165e90f1c9129bb6172e02a598b4264a1fc329d7d5bc} of these teenagers of this age bracket are having sexual relations. 

We need to raise awareness in them of the dangers and repercussions of having sexual relations at a young age”. 
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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 8th 2018)

“The doctor has told us that there is a possibility that the women in my family will have problems with our uterus – a hereditary disease…”

“My mother had cancer of the uterus, my sister had cervical cancer. So there is a possibility for me and my daughters to have cancer but to many people here, that is a lie. That it isn’t possible.

Most Iban women here do not know much about cervical related diseases nor proper postnatal care. 

It is a very sensitive topic because talking explicitly about these issues can lead to misunderstanding and non respect of our culture. 

However, these women must know the dangers of these diseases. Yes, culture is something that needs to be respected but people must open their minds to these issues and the harm it can bring to you.

Hence why we would like if there’s a programme or initiative to open the people’s mind and raise awareness. The Doctors from the Klinik Kesihatan come once every three months – they are very helpful, but it’s not frequent enough. 

There are others apart from me and my family who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Normally, we are not able to detect that we have cancer in our uterus or cervical. 

We only realise that something is wrong when symptoms like stomach ache persists during menses or that we are unable to bear children after our last pregnancy. We initially thought it was normal and the old folks would say that it is in our family lineage to not be able to bear many children. 

But when the pain persisted, I brought my mother to the hospital for a check-up and we found out that she has cancer which was at its later stage.

In the case of my sister, after childbirth, we were wondering why only her stomach was ‘bloated’ but she remained skinny. Many said it was ‘normal’ to look as such. 

My sister didn’t experience much pain except during her menses and when trying to be intimate with her partner. We finally brought her to the hospital and the doctor said that she was lucky because the cancer was at its last few stages. 

She was required to remove her uterus and since then she could no longer bear children.

We do have clinics that are situated nearby to us but the problem is that there is a deficiency in the number of doctors available in the nearby clinics, hence we have to wait for a long time before being attended. 

Doctors only come here on Mondays, twice a month. I’m not entirely sure of the doctor’s working hours because we rarely visit that clinic. I am lucky because I have my own transportation to go to town / city to seek medical attention.

We would like that if the government could raise more awareness and importance towards health. This is because most of us, or at least what I feel is that, we do not have enough information regarding medical related illnesses particularly in the ageing community”. 

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 7th 2018)

“What does this Iban tattoo symbolise?”

“A long long time ago, if an Iban person had a tattoo of a bunga terung, humans and other drawings, it signified that this person is a very strong person. Like a warrior. In the olden days it would signify bravery. Now it’s just an added feature to be more handsome. [Laughs] But really, I have it tattooed to honour and maintain our tradition. Last time we would use traditional tools such as the needle to tattoo it, but now we just use modern tattoo machines. Men usually tatoo at our shoulders, legs and the back. Men are not required to have it, but some do. Women have tattoos too. If a woman has a tattoo by her arm, it would mean that she is intelligent and skilled.”

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 7th 2018)

“Saya sudah cerai. Tak sama haluan. (I’m divorced, our paths were not the same). I’m 27. Not many people from this kampung get divorced, it’s rare…”

“Our generation and our mother’s generation are very different. They had 5 kids. I don’t know how many kids I’ll have. They had more ‘sehaluan’, more, balance.

Last time it wasn’t difficult for them to find their way through life, now its hard, because even the men are lazy, and it’s them who wants to stay at home. That’s the difference. 

Back then, its the husbands who wants to and go to work. 

Now, today, its the reverse, they don’t want to work and mereka suruh isteri kerja (they ask their wives to work), but they don’t go to work. 

That’s how its like around here. Its weird. Like this grandmother here, her children work – but her husband stays at home. The grandmother takes care of the kids. Of course she gets angry. 

Now there is no longer much arranged marriage, we still choose who we’d get married to. They also wear their traditional outfits. Iban people marry at the longhouses, and sit on top of the ‘gong’. They call it the gong tawak. Then we make them wear ayam – as in they take the live chicken, and move it around. Its their adat”. 

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 7th 2018)

“I have 5 kids (2 boys and 3 girls) and I am a grandmother of 4. Normally males marry at the age of 30 or so…”

“For me, I got married at the age of 15. My husband was 30. I wasn’t afraid of marrying an older man at that time [laughs]. I am 40 years old now. I had my first child at 17 years old. We went to the Hospital Kerajaan for delivery. It was good. I didn’t know much about family planning. But if you go to the Klink, the nurses will teach you about family planning.

Our wedding ceremonies differ today. Some like to have it grand, some like to have it small. Some people marry at the church and some people will marry at home. I got married here in my home.

It’s been 25 years since and the kampung has changed a lot. We had electricity since I was little but we did not have water. I guess that’s the big difference. We had to take pails of water from the river. We used them to wash our plates, bathe and we even used it as our drinking water. The river was quite far from where we lived. I myself was born in Sungai Pinang. Far from here! At Kampung Kijang and this is my in-laws’ house. I followed my husband to come here”.

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on July 6th 2018)

“When I see young couples start a family and the man is being responsible in taking care of his wife and kid, it makes me both happy and sad…”

“I feel sad because my husband is not with me anymore and life is hard. I am unable to get money. It’s been a long time since he passed away. He died of TB.

He loved to smoke despite me telling him to stop. We both had 2 children. And both children have married early! One is my own biological baby and I adopted the other. 

I couldn’t get pregnant again after my first child. I didn’t eat any medication or anything. I think it’s in the family genes to not have many children. I want to have more kids, but I can’t”.

“Which is better: to get married early or late?”

“Early! I got married for a year and I got pregnant a year later. I love being married.

If you have not settled down and gotten married, your heart is still free and can travel. Can enjoy. There’s a lot of responsibilities to hold when you get married.

There are some women who have gotten married but can’t have babies. They have tried many things to get pregnant but still no luck. It’s a pity for them”.

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– Humans of Kuala Lumpur​ went with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Malaysia​) into the jungles of Sarawak, where they were helping out underprivileged Sarawakians and orang asal in their mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8