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The ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ effect

Any event in Sarawak seems incomplete without a band, or the hosts themselves entertaining guests and having them tapping their feet to the exciting and familiar melody of the iconic ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’, made popular by Iban singer Andrewson Ngalai. Here, we take a look at what makes the song so close to the hearts of Sarawakians.

An Iban original song

Even though ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ was written in the Iban dialect, it is so popular that any Sarawakian would instantly recognise the song if it aired on the radio or played during a public event. Due to the originality of ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’, Ngalai has managed to garner non-Iban fans too.

With such popularity in Sarawak, and surprisingly even among some West Malaysians, ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ has a potential to become one of the country’s famous songs, like Melaka’s Joget Lambak.

A story we can all relate to

No matter our race, religion, or social strata, there’s one story that can instantly bind us all. It is the story of ‘boy meets girl’. This, including the strong underlying ‘never surrender’ message implied in ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ song, has managed to touch the hearts of many.

The chorus, which tells the story of how the man will do whatever it takes to marry the woman of his dreams, has succeeded in enticing large crowds to karaoke along to the joyful lyrics:

“Aku enda peduli
Aku enda ngira rugi
Seagi aku enda puas ati
Biar la aku ambis bekikis bulu betis
Enti nuan bedau nyadi ke bini…”

A festive climax 

From Gawai celebration to weddings and official events, almost all social functions in Sarawak have featured a ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ karaoke and dance-along session, adding to an irresistible festive entertainment.

Besides it being a catchy and upbeat song, what’s also interesting about ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ is that it is often chosen as a song for people to dance famous poco-poco dance to. If you don’t know what a poco-poco dance is, it is a two-step line dance originating from Indonesia. The easy-to-follow dance has enticed people from all ages and walks of life to sway two steps to the right, left, back and front in various events. This includes teenagers, adults and even high-profile individuals and politicians.

Have you tried karaoke-ing or dancing the poco-poco to ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ before?


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