13 August 2009

Once upon a time- Mogitatabang


I miss the good old days when 'mogitatabang' was still a strong tradition among the people. 'Mogitatabang' derives from the word 'tabang' that means 'to help one another'. It works this way- let's say next week I'm building a shack. I'll send words to my neighbours and they will come to help me on that day. Them helping me out will count as a 'debt' that I'll have to repay in the future.

The best thing about it is that whoever is available will come out to help. It is not so much because of the expectation of being helped in return, but more because of the understanding that 'my neighbour is in need of help, therefore it is my duty to help them'.

I supposed it worked all the time before because the people were all farmers. There was no such thing as clash of duty. As means of living become more varied, mogitatabang begins to lose its significance. New needs arise and various ways are created to cater to those needs.

But, oh, those beautiful days of mogitatabang. Any job, big or small was done together. I remember one of the best time was 'mangasok' (hill-rice sowing) during school holidays. If I wasn't one of those assigned the task of cooking for the workers, I got to participate in the 'mogitatabang' sometimes. Being among those cheerful people who sang, joked and laughed all through the task was something I have never forgotten. Not to mention all the eating and drinking after. It was a party. Now it is but a sweet memory...

4 comments:

Rem said...

Duiiii... nostalgik betul bah entri ni. I can't remember when was the last time I went to mitatabang. 25 years ago? It's one of our dying traditions. Or "dying" is probably an understatement. A "dead" tradition -- is more like it. Sad, kan?

vpa73 said...

ya bah, itu yg teringin sangat menulis pasal tradisi yang semakin pudar ni...nostalgic is the word. Makes me miss my late grandparents and people I know that are now long gone...at least our future generations that there was once such things...

Mommy's Recipe said...

Mogitatabang is not only done in the fields but also when one of your neighbours want to build a house,they'll ask for help.I still remember the days when there's a gotong royong to build one's home.It is called 'maal' in dusun.They not only contribute their knowhow and their energy to help but also the foods.it is called 'mooi porukut'.The men will come early to the gotong royong site while the womenfolk will come later bringing along any foods that they can afford to bring at that time.I have this experience of 'mooi porukut',because my late mother will not bring the foods herself but she'll ask me to send them and my late father or my eldest brother will already be there helping in the house construction.This is the time when you will see all sorts of dusun foods in one place.If you can afford it,you are to bring the tapai too.And the host will make a tab of what you bring because when it is your turn to 'maal',they will repay you in kind.

Anonymous said...

he! sinduan ku... ondosku nopupus no dii mogitatabang