Gawai Dayak Sarawak 2023 open house celebrates camaraderie


Uggah (second row from front, second left) joins the cultural dancers in performing the ‘Poco Poco’ dance, in tune with the song sung by Abang Johari (on stage, fourth right), Awang Tengah on his right, and others. Also on stage are Dr Sim (left), Snowdan on the Premier’s left, and Nanta (second right). — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (June 2): It was a colourful state-level Gawai Dayak Open House 2023 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here on the first day of the festival.

The atmosphere was filled with the sound of gongs being struck melodiously, while performers in colourful traditional costumes lined up along the red carpet that went all the way into the VVIP section of the convention hall, ready for the grand welcome of Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang.

Upon the couple’s arrival, they were greeted by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang.

The other two deputy premiers, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, were also present at the event.

Abang Johari, flanked by Awang Tengah (fifth right) and Snowdan, delivers a song. Also seen on stage are (front, from left) Dr Sim and Nancy. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

Later on, Abang Johari and other distinguished guests were invited to a karaoke session on stage.

Leading the performance was Deputy Minister II of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak Datuk Snowdan Lawan. The group sang a medley of local songs, including the Iban hit ‘Berkikis Bulu Betis’.

There was also a cake-cutting ceremony, led by Abang Johari, to mark the occasion.

The state-level Gawai Dayak open house was the first that had the Dayak leaders under the state’s ruling coalition jointly hosting it.

Visitors taking opportunity to take a ‘wefie’ with Abang Johari and Uggah, who stands right behind, on his right.centre) and Uggah (to his left) at the Gawai Dayak Sarawak 2023 Open House at BCCK. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

Also attending the event were State Legislative Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar; federal ministers from Sarawak Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi (Works) and Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (Women, Family and Community Development); Minister of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Sarawak Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi; Minister in Sarawak Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai; Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak Datuk Julaihi Narawi; federal Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Duties) Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, parliamentarians Datuk Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo) and Roy Gingkoi (Lubok Antu); as well as state deputy ministers Datuk Gerawat Gala, Datuk Malcom Mussen Lamoh, Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Datuk Penguang Manggil, Datuk Liwan Lagang, Dato Majang Renggi, Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu, Dato Henry Harry Jinep, Jefferson Jamit Unyat, and Martin Ben.