Boisterous end to Gawai merrymaking


OFFICIAL CLOSING: Tuai Rumah Ajan and Awang Tengah (second and third left respectively) leading other VIPs in rolling the mat to close the Gawai Dayak celebration in Lawas District.

DAZZLING: Winners of the Kumang and Keling competition.

TRADITIONAL: Limbai Sadaman cultural troupe members from the Kedayan community giving their best pose.

COLOURFUL: Lun Dayeh troupe from Sabah.

GRACEFUL: Visiting Lun Dayeh dancers from Sabah join in the celebration.

LAWAS: The Ngiling Bidai – a ceremony to close the Gawai Dayak celebration – at Rumah Ajan Anak Renang in Meragang over the weekend was colourful, boisterous and merry.

The event held in this longhouse at the foot of the mountain range in Meragang was also to launch an RES project for Lawas District.

It was officiated by Bukit Sari state assemblyman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan who is also Resource Planning and Environment Second Minister.

The Gawai atmosphere was provided by performances by the visiting Lun Dayeh cultural troupe from neighbouring Sipitang in Sabah, Limbai Sadaman cultural troupe from the Kedayan community, and the Iban community.

Youngsters paraded in traditional costumes in the Kumang Gawai and Keling competition.

Awg Tengah commended the community for the progress achieved, saying the longhouse expansion and academic achievements of Ibans – a minority in Lawas district – could be viewed as a feather in their cap.

The interaction between the larger communities of the Lun Bawang, Malay and Chinese and minority communities in Lawas is a picture of harmonious existence in this northern-most district of Sarawak.

Awg Tengah thanked them for their support of the BN in the state and parliamentary elections, which facilitated government efforts to provide them with electricity, roads upgrading and other projects.

The Ngiling Bidai at Rumah Ajan stretched into the wee hours as longhouse folks celebrate their first Gawai Dayak with electricity from the grid system in Lawas, and the merrymaking continued after the ‘ranyai’ was brought down way after midnight.

Ajan thanked the government for responding to the call for electricity and other basic amenities to longhouses in the district’s.

“We have progressed physically and in education where one of us has a masters’ degree,“ he revealed.

His longhouse has expanded over the years, and the facilities improved with a helping hand from Awg Tengah, Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong and the local authority.

Among those present at the event were Henry and his Limbang counterpart Hasbi Habibolah, state assemblymen Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) and Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail (Bukit Kota), political secretary to the chief minister and community leaders.