Celebrating Gawai Dayak 2009

Was at my village from the 31st to the 2nd of January celebrating Gawai.. the traditional way.  To be frank, Gawai just ain’t like it used to be.  It’s modern now, with the live bands and open dance floors, and karaoke sets.. and the ‘gongs’ are somewhat dying.  That’s why, I say, my Gawai is still ‘traditional’.. to some extend that is.  Apart from that, Gawai at my village in Bau has some issues with the 1st and 2nd June date which the government has dedicated specially for Gawai.  This year, when everybody is just starting their Gawai(1st June), my village in Bau is ending theirs bacause Gawai in my village starts on the 30th of May, and ends on the 1st June.  Weird huh?? But that’s tradition =D

Left early on the 31st because I wanted to scout around Bau town and have breakfast at one of my favorite coffee shop in Bau town.  Place was full, but I I did the ‘Hong Kong style’… I just sat with strangers when there was an empty seat.  Hungry ma… After all, waiting for an empty table would take some time, and I was alone.

With that done, I went for another stall in Bau.  This was another stall I have been visiting since small… It was the ABC stall in in Bau’s hawker center.  For years, they have managed to retain their prices to the lowest.  Maybe Serian town introduced me to Cendol, Special and ABC, but their prices shot up, ad their quantity rose down… but this stall, retains its Special at RM1.50 for years…

Done with that, and off I left to my village.  As expected, the road heading out and into Bau Town was already jammed.  Reached my grandparents house at noon, and that was the beginning of the next few days  ‘far’ from technology because my village does not have NTV7 and mobile lines are like searching for needles in a haystack.  Better to do without a handphone.  You can only text messages at certain places, and can fully forget about making any calls.

When I arrived, my grandma was busy preparing local dishes for Gawai, namely her infamous ‘pogang‘ and lemang.  One of my cousin, nick named ‘kodat’ was busy testing his skills at the fire (photo above).  Other family members were either in the kitchen, cooking… or doing something.  I was busy becoming the food taster for every dish which was just completed. hahaha…..  Also tasted my uncle’s Chivas with coke, but it tasted too heavy without ice.

Night came.  I love Gawai nights.  I am not the type which makes full use of the dance floor, because  I am hugely not the type which dance, but night means the Bidayuh tradition comes alive, and my favorite ‘holo’ come out..heheh…

In my village, you get to see traditional rituals done by the Pagans during night time.  You get to see ‘Dayung Borih’ siging unfamiliar tunes, and you get to see ‘ang-mohs’ with their high tech recording gadgets swarming around.  For the modern feel, you get an instant ‘pub’, and a ‘casino’.. hehheheheh..

The band playing this Gawai, was ‘Explosion’, a local band which I really don’t know much off… they made the night ‘rami’ as in happening….  Couldn’t say much more on the celebration, because it is similar, year to year.  I just come back home to enjoy the feel of the Gawai atmosphere.  Drinking sessions are a norm during Gawai, but I keep mine to the minimal coz I don’t really like beer and tuak, and you do tend to find a lot of that during this time of year.

Left for my grandparents in Bau on the 2nd day of Gawai, for the more modern Serian atmosphere (my dad’s side).  Did nothing significant, but sat down eating cakes and enjoying ASTRO.  Like I said, Gawai is getting modern… and I kind of like it the traditional way… OOOooHHHHhh Ahhhhhhhh…..

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