Gawai Car­ni­val Redeems re­turns for 13th year, to usher in a year of good­ness

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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.

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