Language centre set up to preserve culture

SOUND TEST: Rosalyn and Joniston watch as a Sompoton musician toots his signature song.

SOUND TEST: Rosalyn and Joniston watch as a Sompoton musician toots his signature song.

THANK YOU: Rosalyn presenting a memento to Joniston.

THANK YOU: Rosalyn presenting a memento to Joniston.

Dr Rosalyn Gelunu

Dr Rosalyn Gelunu

THE Kadazan Dusun Language and Cultural Centre (KDLC) was formed in October 2011 by a lecturer called Dr Rosalyn Gelunu.

She said the Centre is meant to augment similar existing establishments and has adopted an open concept, ready to conduct smart collaboration with various parties.

“With this understanding and bond, the centre can work with others to achieve collective aims and objectives,” she added.

KDLC hopes to promote the use of the Kadazandusun ethnic language to document as well as promote cultural elements while trying to explore and introduce indigenous knowledge internationally.

For a start, Rosalyn roped in 20 graduates of various majors to attend a weekend workshop at Likas Square.

“They have been very responsive and excited about the preservation of culture through our language.

“I think we all know linguistic leads to who we are and where we come from. In this regard, KDLC hopes to garner resources of our identity through documentations properly archived and made easily accessible to researchers,” she said.

KDLC has carried out various projects since it started 15 months ago.

One she has embarked on is documentation of traditional Kadazandusun houses in Sabah.

There are more than 40 Dusunic tribes in Sabah and as such, the documentation is a major co-operation between these two entities.

They have also collaborated on other articles about language and culture, Rosalyn said, adding that she has also worked with Radio Malaysia Sabah (RTM) on Track of the Dusunic Language and Culture.

Moreover, KDLC has also made a documentary with RTM on Magasak or traditional fishing. Other collaborations are Research and Study Methodology Workshop with Jabatan Pendidikan Negara (JPN), Language and Culture Research Workshop also with JPN as well as the Kadazandusun calendar launching also with the same organisation.

KDLC had also carried out a Creative Writing Workshop with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

On the KDLC project, she said they had published three Kadazandusun calendars since 2011, a book on traditional food in 2012 and another book on traditional riddles the same year.

Rosalyn also presented a paper – Rnait; Bahasa Keramat Dusunic – at Universiti Sains Malaysia last year as well as a Albolian Almanac.

In 2011, KDLC carried out a Sompoton Workshop as well as a Kadazandusun writing and publishing workshop.

On KDLC located at Sunny Garden Jalan Tuaran, she said it was not a public establishment like KDCA but rather a club. A membership drive was carried out recently.

Called KDLC Open Day, it hoped to invite collaborations with others for smart partnership to obtain expertise in language, culture and tradition.

During the event, participants and visitors bought KDLC products such as books and calendars while signing up as members.

At the same time, KDLC also launched the Radio Online

Rosalyn said this was to ensure the authenticity of traditional music which has been extensively modernised to date.

“Of course, the slot for sompoton fm will encompass youth and family where the pre-recorded programme will air interaction among them,” she said, adding that culture through music would also be slotted.

Human development and education would also be the focus of the programme, she revealed.

During the launch, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, President of Sabah Journalists Association (SJA) said KDLC’s vision and mission was commendable and would contribute tremendously to the preservation of indigenous language, culture and tradition.