Below is a conversation between my dad and the motel owner in Singapore, during our breakfast.
My dad : We are from Miri.
Owner : Ooo.. Miri. That oil producer town, Miri. That city o, if you dig dig the backyard of a house, oil will just gush out o.
(Pardon my Nanaish version of Singlish)
I almost choked on my morning tea when I heard that. I guess that all Mirian are rich now, with oil gushing out from their backyard.
Miri, view from Canada Hill.
Miri is also known as Oil Town. One of the main industries in Miri is oil and gas, but we do not have oil gushing out of our backyard.
I am Mirian, but who is Mirian??? Miri was a fishing village before oil was found in 1882. Basically, it means Miri was a very very small village, which lived on fishing income. That is one of the reason not many Mirian are pure Mirian. Most of Mirians are actually migrants from other towns in Sarawak and Brunei. I was born in Sibu and my family moved to Miri when my dad had to work between Miri-Brunei. During big celebration such as Chinese New Year, the city will be isolated as many will go back to their hometown.
Here are some jokes about Mirian (Credit to my brother):
1. There are no pretty girls (Mei nu) in Miri (Mei li), Miri (Mei li) only have 'Mei nu', but the 'Mei' is 'Fa mei (mold)'s 'Mei'. This joke sound better in Mandarin language.
2. Comparing to Sibu, Miri's ladies have longer duration from expiry date, that's why Miri's ladies do not get married as young as Sibu's girls.
All those jokes originated from my unmarried elder brother. I guess he made up those jokes as excuses for not being able to get a girlfriend in Miri.
Community in Miri is a very close knitted community. Everybody knows everybody's business, that's where the term of 'busybody comes into our community. Actually, we are just being friendly to each other, not nosy about each other. In my neighbourhood, we still trust our neighbour to take care of our house when we are out of town. I do not think that can still be done in big city such as Kuala Lumpur or Johor. We only need to behave ourselves when we are in Miri, if we do not want any rumour going around in the city.
This is Miri City Council Emblem. The emblem consist of blue colour, yacht (Miri as resort city), Seahorse (Miri's mascot), Periwinkle (Miri's official flower), Grand Oil Lady (Miri's Landmark signified Miri as Oil and Gas producer), Pustaka Miri (symbolized educational and IT excellence), buildings (development in Miri) and Golf (sports and recreation).
Wherever we go around the city, we can see many signboard and design related to seahorse. Once you touched down at Miri Airport and going to the city center, the first roundabout encountered is a roundabout with seahorses. At Marina Bay, there is a lighthouse designed in the shape of seahorse, signaling Miri is there for you even when you are offshore.
Adapted from Miri City council's website:
"Sea Horse has a unique, beautiful and distinctive figure. Its gentle and charming nature has often been used by the people to denote many good values in life such as caring for each other and possessing an upright character. It also symbolizes harmonious relationship and peacefulness. As it is living in the sea, it signifies Miri's close relationship with the sea, coral reef and a resort paradise."
Indeed it is....
It is a really good emblem actually. First impression of the emblem is that Miri is a rich city. Indeed Miri is a rich city. Miri is rich of oil, and a resort city as well. Miri attracted many tourists with our Mount Mulu National Park, Niah National Park, Lambir Hills National Park and Loagan Bunut National Park. Miri have so many caves until I said I live in cave when some naive person asked me does Sarawakians still live on trees.
Personally, Miri is a home for me. I know Miri is always there for me. I wish it is same for all Mirian. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, remember to contribute some to your home, Miri.
This post is written for Miricom Blogging Contest 2009 organised by www.miricommunity.net
Please click my ads if you like the post. Thanks.