Kuching for me is a home where my heart belongs. First and foremost let me brag about the amazing foods in Kuching. Of course we are popular with our Sarawak Laksa. Kuchingites have laksa for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper. I must say that the best laksa in Kuching is at Chong Choon Cafe, to satisfy your laksa cravings in the morning and Teresa’s Laksa for those who crave for laksa during night time. These two are the perfect match from heaven! I must say the foods in Kuching are influenced by the Chinese community because other than laksa, the best food in Kuching is Kolo mee or Mee Sapi. Mee Sapi is the Halal version of Kolo Mee and I am sure both of them taste just as amazing! I can guarantee that people from Kuching who study or work in other countries, the first thing that they will do when they come back to Kuching is to have either Sarawak Laksa or Kolo Mee. When I was studying in Kuala Lumpur a few years back, my parents will smuggle Sarawak Laksa and Mee Sapi for me every time they visited me, without failed.
Talking about food, it is amazing how food can bring people from different background and races together. Only in Kuching you can find strangers sitting together having their Laksa because there are no more empty tables. I remember going to Chong Choon Cafe on a Saturday morning with this lovely Chinese couples who kindly allow me and my husband to join their table because the place was packed. I’m a lady wearing hijab, having breakfast at a Chinese Kopitiam and sitting with a Chinese couple whom I never met before, prove that race is never an issue here in Kuching. Which reminded me of growing up in all girls Catholic school, where the Chinese, the Dayaks, the Christians, the Muslims and the Indians sat together during recess, the non-Muslims wore Baju Kurung school uniform, the Muslim wore pinafore and everyone are friends. One of the greatest lessons I learnt was to respect other religions and beliefs. Every morning we would have our prayer session, it is such a blessing to see the non-Muslim kept quiet when the Muslim recites our du’a and the Muslim respected the non-Muslim when they say their prayers. Looking back at how the people in Kuching were raised, there is no question why we respect other races, religions and beliefs because we were brought up in the environment whereby everyone is treated equally despite their different backgrounds.
Enough about foods, it makes me hungry. Let’s talk about the endless festivals here in Kuching such as Kuching Festival, Moon Cake Festival and World Rainforest Music Festival. I remember going to the Moon cake festival at Carpenter Street and seeing a group of people performing ‘silat’. Moon cake festival is celebrated by the Chinese and Silat is a martial art for the Muslim and these prove the unity of the people in Kuching. The Festival is open to everyone and then I understand the purpose of moon cake festival as I experienced it myself. Wearing hijab in the middle of the street where mostly the people are Chinese is common here in Kuching. I neither feel scared nor threaten, I feel safe. When you feel safe, you know you are at home. That is Kuching.for me.