The Indigenous People of Malaysia

There are a few communities in the world that still carry on their traditional ways of living. Excluding the communities in Africa, Southeast Asia has a few of these rare communities. Living in what is claimed to be the oldest rainforest in the world, Taman Negara, the Batek people have lived in this 130 million year old forest for hundreds of years. Though the world around them has developed into a world of cars, TV and internet, the people in Taman Negara have remained nomadic, living in leaf thatched roofs, hunting with shooting darts and making a fire with wood and rubbing sticks.

How, in our modern world, can communities such as this exist? Their children receive fully funded schooling opportunities from the government, modern doctors that go to their village and opportunities for employment in the outside world – yet they refuse this assistance and made the prideful choice to remain in their old ways and carry on the traditions of their fathers. When looking at this rare and small community (it is made of ruffly 1000 people), one must ask – why do they choose a life in the jungle for the comforts of the modern world?

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