Google Doodle Celebrates Sarawakian Ethnologist Who Dedicated His Life To Preserving Iban Heritage

source: Google Malaysia

Celebrating yet another Malaysian figure, Benedict Sandin, a Sarawak-born folklorist and ethnographer who spent his life recording and preserving the heritage of his own ethnic Iban community, was featured on Google Doodle for his 102nd birthday.

Sandin anak Attat was born in 1918, in Kerangan Pinggai in the Saribas basin. He passed away in 1982 and was buried in an ancient Iban cemetery in Batu Achau, just 2km away from his birthplace.

According to Google Malaysia, Sandin was introduced to poetic Iban language by his father, which he then mastered and championed.

Benedict Sandin. source: Twitter

Sandin worked as an editor for Pembrita, the first news publication in Iban language, and joined a UNESCO fellowship programme in New Zealand where he learned anthropology and museum techniques.

“He returned home determined to chronicle the Iban history, culture and language by absorbing and recording the wisdom of local genealogists, bards and historians,” it said in the press statement.

With his invaluable knowledge of Iban history, culture, and language, Sandin held a position as 12th curator Sarawak Museum – Borneo’s oldest museum from 1966 to 1974.

“Thank you, Benedict Sandin, for safeguarding and preserving Indigenous tradition and heritage for generations to come,” Google Malaysia added.

It’s great that Google is highlighting lesser known Malaysian legends like Benedict Sandin as it’s both educational and enlightening. Let’s hope they do one on The Strollers.