KUCHING -- This year's Gawai (harvest) festival is going global with the participation of several international cultural troupes, making it the grandest ever in the state history.
The festival, formerly known as 'Gawai Tourism Night' (GTN) will this year be known as the 'World Harvest Festival' to give it the international identity.
Several padi-planting countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, will be taking part in the two-day festival, along with the cultural troupes from Sabah, Sarawak, and Kedah.
Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) General Manager Jane Lian Labang said the participating artistes would be given the opportunity to experience the local cultures, such a stay at the long houses.
Jane said SCV and the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation would organise charity shows for inmates of welfare homes Thursday.
The highlight of the charity show will be the theme play, entitled 'Wek Jongan' from the Selako community and a special appearance of the 14 finalists of the Miss Fair & Lovely GTN 2005.
On the day of the festival, Jane said, visitors can expect a string of programmes, such as interactive workshops, cultural lectures and concerts by performers from various Asean countries.
The visitors are advised not to miss the Food Fair, the traditional Thailand and local massage and tattoo demonstrations.
The mainly agro-based Dayak community -- Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu -- celebrate the Gawai Festival in June every year as thanksgiving for the bountiful padi harvest.
Courtesy of BERNAMA