Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jambatan Tamparuli – the world famous hanging bridge of Sabah

I knew the famous Jambatan Tamparuli or Tamparuli Hanging Bridge before my first visit through the romantic compositions song. Besides, the popularity of the bridge is partly due to some local tourist guide highlights it as the “Lover’s Bridge”.

The most famous landmark in Tamparuli is a long hanging bridge. The folk song Jambatan Tamparuli or Tamparuli hanging bridge is in Kadazan-Dusun language written by Justin Lusah in 1977 which was popularized internationally. 

Being a common language of mankind, folk song plays an important role in the promotion of a place. Not surprisingly, ever since ancient times, song or music has transcended differences in race, culture and color which given expression to aspiration for and pursuit of a peaceful and better world.

According to new research, listening to Beethoven or Badly Drawn Boy may help heart disease and stroke patients, as well as people suffering from stress.

The translation of the lyrics Jambatan Tamparuli is as follows:

Pak pak kang ku doh
Sumunsui doh jambatan
Jambatan doh Tamparuli
Bakasut tinggi oku

I’m making a “Pak Pak” sound
As I walk along the bridge
The bridge of Tamparuli
while wearing high-heeled shoes

Sumunsui doh jambatan
Jambatan doh Tamparuli
Pak pak kang ku doh
Bakasut tinggi oku

As I walk along the bridge
The Bridge of Tamparuli
I’m making a “Pak Pak” sound
while wearing high-heeled shoes

Silaka nodi kasutku
Naratu lo jambatan
Tinggal poh doh sutakin
Nowid ku di numuli

But damn my shoes
they fell off the bridge
only socks are left
which I brought home

Ontok di hari 3
Tamu lo Tamparuli
Mingusuk poh hilo kadai
Mogihum doh kasut tinggi

On Wednesday
It’s the Tamu in Tamparuli
I go around the shops
Looking for high-heeled shoes

Although the current new hanging bridge is not the original bridge that inspired Justin Lusah to write this ever green famous song.  
According to public record, the original Tamparuli hanging bridge build in the 1950s was washed away by flood in 1999. The left behind low bridge without hanging is remained in use for many decades and often than not flooded during the rainy season when the water level raise.

However, it’s too dangerous taking the risk to cross the lower bridge during raining season even through the water is only a few inches above the bridge.
The big flood tragedy occurred in May 1960 had claimed the life of two British soldiers and a local woman from Kota Belud when they tried to save her.

After 37 years, another flood occurred in 2 January 1999 that hit and washed away the original Tamparuli Bridge. It was claimed to be the biggest flood ever occurred, the fast flowing water at least 10 feet above the bridge.

The new bridge started construction after the old bridge was destroyed during the flood. Is a hanging bridge about 50 m in length, using wood without piling and officiated by the then Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Harris Salleh in the early 1980s.

Due to its fine engineering, the originally bridge, built in the 1950s is still using by vehicle now although after being hit by many logs and floodwaters over the years.

Tamparuli is a small town and a sub-district of Tuaran on west coast of Sabah. It takes 40 minutes from Kota Kinabalu. The population is dominated by native Dusuns and a number of Chinese doing business in the town.

The most famous landmark in Tamparuli town is the long hanging bridge. Another bridge, built for motor traffic, spans the river far below the hanging bridge and is frequently flooded during heavy rain.

Tamu is held every Wednesday where locals bring their crops and live-stocks for sale at the open market. 

 Chinese version of  Tamparuli Bridge which was apparently sung by a Ms Liu Qiu Yi and released in 1986.

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