Saturday, August 24

Permanent date for Bidayuh Gawai closing from next year proposed

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KUCHING: The Bidayuh community in Sarawak is expected to fix a permanent date for the closing of the Gawai starting next year.

Dayak National Bidayuh Association (DBNA) senior advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin said as of now there was no specific limit for the celebration and therefore suggested a one common date to be set.

“Different villages have their own Gawai closing and it seems that everyone will fix the day based on their own convenience and wishes,” he said when chairing a dialogue session recently with Bidayuh community leaders which included DBNA president Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, Kuching Division Bidayuh community leader Temenggong Austin DiminSinyon and former Bidayuh Temenggong Datuk Stephen Jussem.

Manyin, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications, said this would be the immediate task for the proposed Bidayuh Council of Elders.

The setting up of the council was among a few resolutions made during the Bidayuh Cultural Symposium in July which was now ripe for implementation.

During the dialogue session it was agreed that Dimin would chair a committee to look into the establishment of the council and election of its members.

“As agreed during our last cultural symposium we want to set up Bidayuh Council of Elders whose major roles, among others is to look into the preservation and conservation of our culture and heritage.

“Hopefully, the council will start functioning within this year and its immediate task is to study a specific date for a permanent and uniform Gawai closing starting next year,” he said.

The council, which will also include representatives from Majlis Adat Istiadat (Bidayuh division) will be one of the units in DBNA.