Aeon celebrates Gawai with Kampung Benuk residents

Willie (centre left) and Dr Jerip (centre right) greet the villagers upon arrival.

KUCHING: Kampung Benuk, one of the last remaining Bidayuh longhouses, was selected by Aeon Co (M) Sdn Bhd for its first Gawai Dayak celebration as part of its community engagement programme.

Some 500 of the local community participated in the programme to foster relations and strengthen bonds through communal events. This year’s programme which coincided with the Gawai Dayak celebration presented Aeon the opportunity to bolster unity and give back to the community.

“Sarawak has a rich history and today, we are honoured to integrate ourselves into the local culture and build more meaningful relationships with the community. Aeon aspires to continuously work alongside the locals to preserve their traditions and culture, and contribute stronger to the grassroots community,” said Aeon executive director Hiroyuki Kotera at the event.

(Seated from left) Willie and Dr Jerip watch a traditional dance performance at the longhouse.

The invited guests at the event were Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin and Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.

In his speech, Willie hoped more non-government organisation would emulate Aeon by holding more corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

Meanwhile, Kampung Benuk village head Bundu Suwap said that he is grateful that the village was chosen to share the celebration with Aeon.

“Aeon’s presence in Kuching has given our community a new shopping experience and created many job opportunities for the younger generation.

“I would like to thank Aeon for their support during this festival and hope our guests enjoy the many cultural activities we have prepared.”

The various activities held include children’s colouring contest, ‘miring’ ceremony, traditional costume showcase, gong playing challenge and a beauty pageant.

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