Monday, May 31, 2010

Gawai preparation starts with the brewing of tuak

The aroma of ‘tuak’ tickles the nostrils, filling the air with a sense of anticipation, signalling the arrival of the Gawai — a festival which marks the end of the harvesting season.

The Dayaks celebrate the Gawai annually on June 1, a thanksgiving day for the bountiful harvest and a time to plan for the new planting season.

How this traditional wine tastes depends largely on who brews it.

Made of fermented rice with yeast and sugar, tuak-making is the domain of the womenfolk who have to observe a myriad of rituals and taboos to ensure a fine tuak.

Just ask Simai Linggi, an old hand in tuak-making, who has been brewing tuak and observing all the do’s and don’ts religiously every year for the last 20 years.

This 47-year-old housewife and mother of three from Kampung Lebor, Jalan Gedong, about 75km from Kuching, was taught the art of tuak-making by her mother and grandmother when she was in her 20’s.

She will proudly tell you hers is a ‘family recipe’ and something she would not talk about.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Gawai preparation starts with the brewing of tuak

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