Gawai: Closing Soon
This is a mix of new and back post. When there is an opening, there is always a closing. True for this Gawai Celebrations that has just past. Its like the World Cup actually. There is this 'kick off' ceremony and there is also a closing ceremony. However there is no official date for this event known in Iban as Ngiling Bidai or Ngiling Tikai. You see the word 'ngiling' means rolling and the whole meaning of Ngiling Tikai or Bidai is to roll the mat to mark the end of the celebrations (likewise, rolling down the mat or tikai is a mark of welcome. Gawai celebrations and visiting can continues on after the two days of official Gawai celebrations (June 1 & 2 every year). If anyone has a better version of the Ngiling Bidai, please elaborate, because I think I am suffering from some kind of mental block now - probably due to the alcool still flowing in my bloodstream. These last few days of Gawai, the only thing I try to do whenever I visit one house to the next is to stay sober. There is no official date for the end of Gawai - it differs from one place to the next.
Niah To Miri
After my brother's wedding in Niah, I managed to spend a few days in Miri. I am glad that Kenny Sia also dropped by this wonderful Resort City this mid June 2006 as seen in his post Kenny Sia June Blogs. I will agree with him that Miri Resort City is indeed a fun spot if you know where to go. Other than that, I hope the flags scene in Miri City gets rectified soon, especially as Mederka Day approaches.
Miri to Bintulu
Our Pub = Pub Kitai
Its just a name. Sin to the power two! Hehehe....
City Point is a modern shopping complex for those who love to shop - its the only one with that unique look in Bintulu
The Regency/Plaza Bintulu
The Regency Plaza is in the middle of town - nearby the shopping complexes
At the Hotel Parking Lot you have to be Dead Slow. Which is why I had to think twice about driving there. I don't know how slow is Dead Slow. Anyone know the speed?
The Cafe - Nice and Friendly Service
Bintulu to Bawang Assan Sibu
The next stretch of the journey was also quite a tiring one. After we left Bintulu and reached Sibu in the evening, we drove over to Bawang Assan which is about 25 kilometres from Sibu to attend cousin Adeline Telu's wedding at Rumah Penghulu Mang, Bawang Assan. It was an interesting journey, though I could not get the photos of the road conditions there and the longhouse exterior picture view at night, which reminds me that I should change to a better camera soon. Anyway it was a tiring drive as we had only a few hours to rest at our Sibu home before we proceeded to our cousin's wedding.
The Ruai (or community hallway) of Rumah Penghulu Mang, Bawang Assan
This is a modern longhouse - fitted with fire extinguisher and electricity supply is not a problem
The wedding feast is held at the ruai of the longhouse
The tanju or 'verandah' is where the cleaning is done (water supply is available)
We get to sit in front of the ruai while enjoying the wedding feast. Most of us were exhausted from the journey back from Bintulu though.
The 'bilik' of the bride - modern settings and deco. Most of the relatives will converge here
The wedding couple. George Kelen & Adeline Telu, soon to be married.
Most of the guests here are from the bride's side as this is the bride's longhouse
Father Lawrence of the Methodist Church who graced the wedding ceremony.
This time there was no Merry Making for our group. Our energy was at the lowest level I guess and we drove back to Sibu by midnight just as the party was getting started. We needed the rest. One thing I did learn though is that I had been through three different weddings for this Gawai. And as the pictures show, wedding practices in the Iban community varies - from the old adat of miring (offering to the gods), then the Christian influence of Catholicism and Methodist Church - the invaluable opportunity to see how the Iban community is influenced by the diverse cultures, reigion and practices in Malaysia. From the 'bersanding' (where the couples sit side by side in full view of the audiences and guests) which is very much a Malaysian influence to the Western Religion influence of wedding practices (Church blessings, exchange of the rings, baptism etc). The wonders of a multi cultural intersection in these practices are what makes these events quite interesting. And some people think that Kongsi Raya should not be encourage? This world exists in multiple colours and it is the mix of these colours that make the world beautiful. The world came to be from a combination of possibilities. Don't let these people spoil it.
Next Post:Sibu Family Gathering
My next post will be of our family get together in Sibu. And the famous "Ai Ijok" which my brother in law brought back in a One Gallon Container. Not many people know what it is. Neither do I, but it does pack a punch. I discovered that after one hangover too many.
"Ai Ijok" - Penghulu Baling Jenggin toasts to the closing of Gawai Dayak