Saturday, August 8, 2009

They Still Smoke 'Kirai' In Sabah

Kirai is the local cigarette popularly smoked by the Bajau and the Dusun community too. It is said to have been introduced by the Chinese when they came to BORNEO. The tobacco is wrapped inside the leaves of a kind of palm tree called nipah. This palm tree grows well along the river banks on a muddy soil.The history of the kirai is as old as the communities themselves and the fact that it still survives until today is a testimony that it has become part and parcel of the local communities and the kirai leaves and tobacco are sold at the weekly tamu or markets.It could be more popular now that the cost of the cigarettes have increased over the years.The kirai leaves are called bungkosan by the local Bajau community.

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