Friday, October 30, 2009


Pengawa “Palau” sigi nadai ngemai pemansang tauka pengidup meruan: True or False?

Most of us like to have a nice casual drink hours when we go out with our friends of an evening, and enjoy that merry feeling that comes after a few pints, when everything we say sounds like the most intelligent thing that’s ever been uttered, and everyone is, like, our best friend, ever.

And while there’s nothing wrong with having a couple of pints or a nice glass of beer/wine, there’s little doubt that too much of a good thing is bad for us. I always doubt a drunker would ever remember what he/she say or do they are under influence of alcohol.

It aren’t good for both young and old health, it leaves our wallets scarily lighter (wasn’t there a couple of fifty Ringgit notes in there before I went out last night?? For it could have been used for good deeds: future education needs, leverage saving, investment, insurances, nice clothing/snickers which you could wear everyday, etc), and those boozy sessions can result in a whole heap of embarrassment, with photographic evidence we’d just as soon never existed.

So find out what’s okay, what’s not, and protect your health, your hard earned money, your own safety, and don’t leave your loved ones behind unprepared. Just think of that for awhile whenever you think of that “Cap Apek”, “Ms Stella Atois”, “Mr Chivas Regal” and so on….

This is a state of creating awareness that alcoholism is bad for you, you family and most of all your community. I haven’t heard a drunker become the champion of others except for him/herself. What if you were caught in a candid camera or in reality TV show; I’m sure you might feel ashamed of what you done “yesterday”?

I don’t foresee you or anybody would look “beautiful”…. If you think “old drinking culture” brings goodness to you and/or your family or community then drink for your success, glory and achievement!

So tell me the basics… What is alcohol, and how does it affect me?

Alcohol is a depressant drug (yup, a drug), that slows down your body functions, both physically and mentally. Explaining why your reactions aren’t as fast after a few drinks, why your inhibitions are lowered, why your speech becomes slurred, and why you wake up the next morning with no recollection of how you got home. It’s likely to make you feel down (it being a depressant, and all), especially if you felt blue before you started, but can exaggerate an existing mood. So if you felt a bit aggressive or hyper before you got going, this will probably be magnified significantly after downing a few drinks.

What causes the raging hangover you get the very next day?

Your body’s instinctive reaction to alcohol is to try to flush it out of your system, resulting in dehydration. It also irritates the lining of your stomach; causing the nausea and vomiting that are such an awful part of the morning after.

To reduce the effects of a hangover, make sure you’ve eaten enough before you go out (that notion of ‘lining your stomach’ is not a bad one), and during the night, alternate booze with a soft drink (if you’re worried about getting slugged – which you SHOULDN’T be, but that’s another issue – then just don’t tell anyone there’s no Bacardi in your Bacardi and coke), and drink a big glass of water or good “teh si peng” or “teh tarik” or “black coffee” when you get home.

But remember, the only cure for a hangover is time. It takes your body a full hour to remove one standard drink from your system, no matter what you do. The coffee, the full breakfast or the cold shower might perk you up a bit, but you’ll be a caffeinated, well fed, clean and shiny drunk!

And why is it a bad idea to mix alcohol with other drugs?

Well, alcohol, being a depressant, is dangerous when you mix it with another depressant (which a variety of prescription and illegal drugs can be), as it can slow your body’s functioning to a point that can lead to organ failure. Combined with a stimulant, alcohol can lead to increased blood pressure, anxiety, confusion, aggression and paranoia.

The effects of certain over the counter drugs, like cough and cold remedies, painkillers, antihistamines and travel sickness pills, can be enhanced by drinking alcohol, even hours after taking them, so you’ll feel even drowsier, and your concentration and coordination will go down the plughole.

Alcohol can also interact with a wide variety of herbal supplements, so avoid these while drinking, especially Echinacea, chamomile and valerian, which cause serious drowsiness and/or sedation when combined with drink. “Enti ka panjai umor badu ngirup; Enti ka padam seput jampat agi anang nagang diri ngirup…”

So what’s too much alcohol?

First of all, you need to know how much you’re drinking – there can be a world of difference between the size of the glass of wine you’d pour yourself at home and the glass you’d get in the pub. And your gender counts too – unfortunately, basic biology means that girls can’t drink as much as boys (damn biology!).

Remember too that’s it not the volume of liquid you drink, it’s the percentage of alcohol that’s in it. One standard drink is considered to have 10 grams of pure alcohol. Even different brands of the same type of drink – different wines or beers, for instance – will have different percentages of alcohol in them. It’s a fantastic resource for calculating exactly how much alcohol is in your favorite drink.

But basically, experts advise that up to 14x standard drinks per week for a woman and 21x for a man is fairly safe. Unfortunately, you can’t save these all up for one “mad drinking splurge” at the weekend or happy hours.

NOTES: Our bodies just can’t process all that alcohol all at once and you should really only have 1 or 2 drinks in one go, if you’re a girl, and 2 or 3, if you’re a boy. Anything above this is considered unsafe, and is damaging to your health. You should also ensure that you have at least a couple of alcohol-free days during the course of the week. If you drink beyond your standard, you may be a target of a known “predator”? Beware too… “haruan makan haruan”…

What are the risks in drinking too much?

* It might not seem likely, but you can become dependent on alcohol, or alcoholic
* It can interfere with your sex life, causing erectile difficulties in men
* It can cause stomach problems, such as ulcers or stomach ulcers
* It can cause a nice little thing called pancreatitis, that results in severe abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting
* Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease
* An increased risk of certain cancers or other unforeseen diseases
* Mood changes
* Alcohol poisoning can lead to coma, brain damage and death

And that’s just the damage to your body. Other risks include:

* Alcohol’s interference with your functioning increases your vulnerability to fights, unprotected sex and sexual assault, getting robbed, or having an injury or serious accident (like a car crash).
* You are more likely to suffer relationship difficulties while drinking to excess
* You risk getting into trouble with the enforcement officers/authorities, and ending up with a criminal record

Remember, you don’t have to be an alcoholic to harm yourself or others – just one binge drinking session is all it takes to put yourself in danger. Favorite Dayak Lama’s words: “nama nuan ka ngemai bebukut pia…”/ “apooo…bajik amat indai blues nya madik….”/ “ehh….anang mayoh jako nuan wai, kitu tua belalai sulu….”/ “babi makai kita…ai bisa irup kita…”

And you should NOT drink in any of the following circumstances:

* If you are pregnant or think you might be
* If you are taking certain medications (check with your doctor)
* If you are driving, operating machinery, playing sports, seminar, official ceremonial or doing anything that requires coordination or unimpaired judgment

So how do you know if your drinking culture is becoming a problem?

You don’t have to be an alcoholic for drink to start causing problems in your life. If any of the following are true, you might want to have a closer look at how much your drinking culture has affect you and why? And maybe take a bit of a break from the booze for a while.

* You drink to forget about your problems, or conquer your shyness or anxiety
* You drink over the recommended amount on a regular basis
* You find it difficult to stop drinking once you start, even if you don’t drink too often
* You are secretive about drinking
* You suffer from memory loss or blackouts after drinking
* You feel guilty about drinking
* Drinking interferes with your ability to do the things you usually do, or should do, like going to work or interview or examination/test or college and/or even school
* Drinking starts to disrupt other areas of your life, like your relationships with family or friends, your finances, your health or your behavior and/or financial status

What to do in an emergency… If someone you’re with is very drunk

* Stay with them, and do not allow them to have any more alcohol
* Keep them warm
* Get them home safely and do not just bundle them into a taxi on their own
* If they pass out, put them into the recovery position (on their side, with the top leg bent, the top arm bent across the chest, with the palm of the hand under the cheek). Never move anyone with a suspected spinal injury
* Call an ambulance or ask someone else to do it

But how can I have fun without drinking?!

It can be difficult to go booze free, especially as our Dayak Lama Culture often centers in the “ruai of rumahpanjai” and/or around the pub either during the festive holiday or “election fiesta”. Ask your friends to support your decision, and not to give you too much of a hard time if you’re enjoying a soft drink in the pub. If they just won’t quit, tell them to “F-off”.

If pubs aren’t your thing anyway, there are lots of other things you can do. Put your persuasive hat on and ask your friends to try out some of your hobbies, whatever they might be.

But if you do take such drink

* Don’t forget your dinner! Fill your belly with carbohydrates like rice, noodles and bread. Yummy!
* Don’t be in a hurry! Remember – your liver can only remove one standard drink from your body an hour.
* Think water, and drink water! While you drink, and after. Also pace yourself with lots of soft drinks.
* Avoid drinking games, or competitive drinking! Maybe fun now, but you’ll pay the price later. Try not avoiding rounds too, or limiting them to just one or two friends. If others in a round are drinking faster than you’re comfy with, just slow down, or opt out of the round altogether.
* Never accept drinks from strangers, no matter how good-looking they are, and remember that the reason they might look so great anyway might be all down to the beer goggles! And you’re hardly drop dead gorgeous yourself when you’re drop down drunk.
* Don’t leave your drink unattended either… if you leave one on the bar while you go to the loo, ditch it and buy a new one.
* And remember to plan how you’re going to get home before you start drinking. Keep your taxi numbers in a safe place, along with some cash to pay for your cab.

If you’re a soccer star extraordinaire or just an occasional jogger/hiker, get the low down on how alcohol can affect your performance with our guide,

Having a drink is a big part of Dayak Lama’s culture and social life. So is sport and exercise. For most adults/youths, enjoying alcohol in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t cause any problems.

Of course many people enjoy a drink when they are socializing as alcohol can help you relax. There are many good health, family and social reasons why you may decide not to drink. If you choose not to drink alcohol either as a lifestyle choice or on any particular occasion, people should support you in this and you shouldn’t feel pressured to drink by your team mates.

One Standard Drink: A glass of stout/lager/cider (284ml) or a small glass of tuak/wine (100ml) or a pub measure of spirit (35.5ml)

Change our Dayak Lama “ngirup” culture first

If we want Change then change this old traditional “ngirup” culture first! There is no such thing as “enti ka ngirup, ngirup mimit-mimit aja tau”…. And I do believe there’s no such thing as “one for the road” too. Societies that believe in promoting “bad drinking culture” are normally the loser and usually faced with backwardness. Alcohol win but you’re looser!


To the Iban and/or bansa Dayak in general, kindly rethink your old “ngirup” heritage culture. Used alternative drink to welcome your honorable guest and/or promoting a toast. We’re already living a change of modernization or a Dayak Baru civilization. I know Iban/Dayaks are known for their bravery as the great “headhunters’ but they’re also great “pemabuk” too! You no warrior if you’re alcoholic.

Lastly, from me: Teach your children to drink alcohol; you train them to become a professional drinker one day. Teach your children to save money; you help them to build their own wealth one day. To become prosper like others, you have to learn from their success culture and/or stories.

Not just Change the political arena but Change your old alcoholistic culture too. I started yesterday and how about you? Good luck!

No comments: