Modest preparations for Gawai Dayak

KUCHING: The community of Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and others who are celebrating the Gawai Dayak harvest festival tomorrow, are making modest preparations for this year’s celebration as the country is still under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

Housewife, Minah Serit, 56, said ‘ngabang’ tradition or visiting relatives and friends would not be observed this year.

“For Gawai eve dinner, my family and I will cook a few must-have dishes such as ‘pansuh’, and we will also have barbecue to celebrate my youngest’s birthday,” said Minah who is from Sri Aman.

Meanwhile, Ajoy Delo, 34, said he would have a dinner with his siblings who live nearby.

“Even though our brother is living in Dubai, we keep in touch through video calls and it keeps us close to each other,” he said.

The lab assistant said they will usher in the festival with a toast of the ‘tuak’.

For broadcast journalist Monica Gery, 28, despite being unable to return to her hometown to be with her family, she would still celebrate the festival with her close friends.

“The tradition has to continue, I am proud to be born as a Dayak. This year we all have to sacrifice for the sake of our health and safety,” she said.