On the usual days in the middle of the year – no festivals, no foofaraw, no nothing – you can tell that the average build of the people in Sungai Sepi is quite lithe. Barring the sweet plump old neneks and the gaunt yet paunchy pakciks, the general populace here are strong women and men. Bodies built of hard work and hot sweat. Clean clothes and simple practical adornments reveal near-tactless honesty and lack of pretension beaming from the good, hardworking locals.
So when Raya rolls around, and the holiday exodus brings in the pale-skinned, soft-framed bodies of the city people, wrapped in allegedly fashionable, neon colour-coordinated dressings of the season, one can’t help but take notice of the stark contrast.
Despite this peaceful juxtaposition of lifestyles, there is still a century-strong commonality held close to the hearts of the people of Sungai Sepi: The love for durian.