[This is the picture of the Kumang BidayuhBahagian Miri – which shows the traditional costume of my race]
Ahh Gawai, how I loved goin back to kampung, lepaking with all my cousins, uncles and aunties seeing how much everyone has grown (horizontally and vertically). My dad grew up in a small kampung (village) at Batu Sepuluh (literally 10 miles from Kuching town) with 7 other siblings. He is the youngest of a family of eight. Such fun going ngaban (visiting) all the open houses in the kampung.
Gawai is the Harvest Festival for the native tribes in Sarawak (similar to the Kaamatan in Sabah). It is officially celebrated on the 1st and 2nd June every year. What happens is the whole family gathers together and we have a big feast with traditional food such as ayam pansoh (chicken cooked in bamboo), grilled whole pig, a starchy “pudding” made out of boiled sago and dipped in something like pengat durian (cooked durian paste) – i forgot the name and of course lots and lots of alcohol. Traditionally we drink tuak – which is rice wine – but nowadays its usually Beer (tiger being a favourite choice) and other types of liquor. Then we eat, drink and be merry. \:d/
Another interesting event during Gawai is the Kumang Gawai – a beauty contest to find who is the fairest lass in the Land of the Hornbills – which is similar to the Unduk Ngadau during Kaamatan. Thanks to Uchu Keling, a fellow Sarawakian, I have photos of the winners of the 2007 Kumang Gawai. More on his flickr page.
From left : Keling-Belawan Bahagian Miri 2007, Keligit Orang Ulu Bahagian Miri 2007, Kumang Iban Bahagian Miri 2007, and in that last pic the lady is wearing the traditional costume of the Lunbawang tribe.
To all my fellow Sarawakians especially:
Chee Kui – who also wrote about Gawai and Kumang Gawai
Uchu Keling – from whom we stole the pictures :P
Atie-M – who is probably serving cheesecake for her open house
Dee-Jay – who is busy preparing for Gawai and I hope he doesnt drink too much
Selamat Ari Gawai Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!!
For you other folks : that means happy Gawai and may you be blessed with long life and good health (i think)