Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kuching 2015 - Day 3 Happy Gawai Day

Good morning's Gawai Day and we were waiting to be transported to a remote place to witness the celebration.
Our stop at Tapah for breakfast, this is Tapah in Sarawak and not in Perak. The rain has stopped just timely for us to get down.
The rain came back as we waited for our food. The waiting was worth the while as the food was super good.
I find that the porridge in Sarawak is more tastier than those in Peninsula, I love this minced meat porridge with century eggs. Truly yummy.
Kolo Mee with minced meat instead of Char Siu.
This Sarawak Laksa tasted better than the one I had in Kuching the day before. Wow, the food in this smaller town is pretty awesome!
Happy faces in the bus for photograph but moment later most of us were snoring and catching up with their sleep.
The bus has finally arrived at the destination, Kg. Bunan Gega which is approximately 95km away from Kuching and it is very close to the border of Indonesia.
Our first visit was to Joyce's house, an old friend of Freda and she is such a sport. We shall remember her lovely tuak.
Freda lead us into the kampong, our bicycles were kept at her friend's house. The weather was excellent. The walking was fun and joyful. Happy walking.
We could see a crowd at the other end of the road and we slowly marched into the scene. There were sound of gongs and drums, smoke and fire crackers bursting and it was the beginning of our excitement for our first ever Gawai celebration.
Gawai Dayak is a harvest festival, which is celebrated by the indigenous people of Sarawak, particularly the Ibans and Bidayuhs. Kg. Bunan Gega is a Bidayuh village.
Traditional dance performed by the local folks as part of the ritual they do annually.
Home made rice wine is the traditional drink of choice called Tauk, but today many Dayak celebrate with beer or whiskey.
Dressing up in traditional clothes is another aspect that makes Gawai. For men, this means putting on a loincloth, animal skin for protection, headgear with hornbill feathers and weapons like shield, sword, and spear.
We followed the procession and it went from one community to another, observing the ritual was something educational. It was surely an awesome experience for us.
There are many variations of the traditional dance which basically revolve around the male dance and female dance which consist of graceful and precise movements of the body, hands and feet with occasional shouts of battle cry. Visitors were encouraged to join in the fun.

This harvest festival, gives thanks to the gods and spirits for the bounty of the land. With centuries of tradition behind it, this native ritual involves communication with the spirit world, ancestral worship and feasting with friends and family of the whole community.
War dances are part of their celebration.
Blowpiping is another activity seen in this celebration, some of us had the chance to blow the pipe.
Finally the procession came to its final place at the Longhouse which they called it Balai Kebudayaan.
The inside of the longhouse is decorated for the occasion with mats covering the bamboo strips floor.
Gawai Dayak as a festival is considered as an auspicious occasion for weddings and family reunions beside an attraction of indigenous culture for tourists.
Some of us were invited to wear colorful costumes for photos, participate in traditional dances, and sample delicious cakes and treats.
Friends from Kuala Lumpur in the Longhouse of Kg. Bunan Gega. Happy Gawai, May another good harvest be fulfilled for this village. What an opportunity for us to witness this auspicious celebration in Borneo.
Day 1 celebration at Kg. Bunan Gega was over, we walked back to Joyce's place for our bicycles and rode to another village where we will be putting up a night there.
Though it was a short ride, weather was superb and the feeling of cycling in a remote village was so good.
It was away from the mad city, road was so quiet, no wifi, no pollution and it's so peaceful indeed.
At last we reached Kg. Mongkos, the village we will be staying for the night.

With another 2.5 kilometres away we could have reached Indonesia but we did not pursue.
A river where some of the folks take their bath, wash their clothing and the kids have great fun in it.
Hi kids, I like to be in your shoe.
Dinner time at a separate double storey building with a mini market on the ground floor. Good night, have a good rest and tomorrow there will be another adventure awaiting for us.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Thanks for all the wonderful adventure - I really enjoy your blog. Maybe one of these day I will visit the places you blog about.