Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rare showcase of Bidayuh customs at Gawai Festival

KUCHING: A fireworks display and a rare showcase of Bidayuh customs, traditional dances and music attracted thousands of people to the Gawai Carnival Redeems 2009.

A Bidayuh maiden beauty parade and a gong beating demonstration added more colours to the carnival’s opening ceremony at the Redeems Centre in Singai, Bau, about 38km from here, on Saturday night.

The contestants took to the catwalk in traditional Bidayuh costumes amidst soothing ethnic music, including the sape.

The three-day elaborate carnival, with dozens of activities, was hosted by the Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak (Redeems), which represents 12 Bidayuh villages in Singai.

Themed ‘’Develop culture to develop people’’, the carnival was one of the major closing events for the year-long celebrations of 45 years of Sarawak’s progress in Malaysia.

Visitors, especially foreign tourists, had the rare opportunity to witness and gain an insight into the ngaruom mogang (first-night Gawai ritual), nyopuh (honey collection ritual) and ngaruom prien (Gawai closing ritual) staged during the annual event.

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