Gawai Carnival Redeems returns for 13th year, to usher in a year of goodness
KUCHING: The 13th annual Gawai Carnival Redeems 2018 ( GCR18), which celebrates the unique cultures and traditions of the Dayaks as they usher in a year of goodness following a bountiful harvest, will return to the Redeems Centre in Kampung Apar Singai, Bau on June 29 to July 1.
Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak ( Redeems) president Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie said this year’s celebration will focus on the many traditional rituals, customs, and ceremonies observed by the indigenous tribes in Sarawak.
“We are among the very few organisations with ability to organise this celebration for 13 years in a row without fail. This is our pride,” he told a press conference yesterday.
“This year, the celebration will showcase the actual Gawai rituals and special ceremonies as done in the olden days, which normally would take three days.”
He said the first day is for preparation, including collecting the souls of padi ( seeds) and sacrificial animals to be offered on the altar; while the second day will be the peak of the celebration with the official opening ceremony, observing the Simutur ritual and beauty pageant.
The third day will be for the closing or ngiling tikai (rolling up the mat) and presentation of prizes.
Nansian said the emphasis is on protecting and preserving the cultures, traditions, and heritage of the Dayak community.
“However, it is not spiritual anymore but special ceremonies we observe when celebrating Gawai. Preservation and allowing others to understand the values and virtues behind are important so that we do not lose our culture and community,” he explained.
He encouraged visitors to document the traditional wisdom and knowledge to retain the identity of the Dayak community.
Nansian said the event will be themed ‘ Towards Digital Community’, to urge the members of the Dayak community to continuously advance themselves with information communication technology knowledge and skills.
“The objective of Gawai of course is to bring people of our diverse community together and foster unity, fellowship, and even an opportunity for courtship as this is the time when people mass convene in one place,” he added.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is expected to officially open the event on June 30 during the Gala Dinner, where there will be 131 tables.
More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the three- day carnival.