OhMy Gawai 2012 English!
Oh My Gawai 2012 Mood!
Nadai Nama Nama is in a Gawai mood. When the mood is there, then its quite natural that he pulls out his keyboard and start tapping away nonsensical into cyberspace. Nevertheless it is the time to be merry and jolly despite the fact that in the middle of the year its considered a peak period in terms of work, in terms of milestones for projects and in terms of everything in one's life. But hey, Gawai is Gawai, no English words can describe that more. Gawai Leave, Gawai hangover, Gawai celebration....its uniquely Gawai.
(Picture above is just an illustration and has no relevance to this post, but my pal on the right in the picture Tuan Pele will definitely be charging himself )
I have to admit, this coming Gawai 2012 many celebrants will be converting their homes/longhouses into a court of law. If you do not believe try visiting this Gawai and without you knowing it you will be 'Charged'. Usually this is pronounced as 'CHAS'. It is a positive connotation of 'having a bit too many drinks that you feel as if some electric currents are flowing in your body and that the high voltages are making you see double and triple thus causing an imbalance in the world order'. Hopefully some Oxford English people see this and take up this as the universal meaning. I do not use the word 'drunk' or 'intoxicated' because it does not apply as the word CHAS overules them. But you will never be charged enough or simply enda cukup chas in Iban. But in this Gawai court house you can be charged more than once.
So for this Gawai, I wish to state that it will be that time of the year again, where Oh My English does not matter at all. Maybe its due to Gawai spirits coming down from the skies distorting words and deleting its meanings. Thus it will be very hard to apply the court's rule of law if any dispute comes out of it. Try visiting a traditional longhouse this Gawai and you will discover that simple words like 'NO', 'A LITTLE BIT', 'ONE MORE', 'ONE FOR THE ROAD' or 'LAST GLASS' have disappeared from the dictionary.
DISCLAIMER: Now before anyone of those modern goody two shoes points a finger at me for spreading lies like that tabloid story story in Sarawak, what I say here is not based on desktop story telling but what I experienced myself for many many moons. So let's start.
On Gawai visiting, it is the hosts' pride that they wish to share with you their skills in making tuak or rice wine after a bountiful harvest season. So its not easy to say 'NO' when a glass is offered and out of courtesy you can say 'A LITTLE BIT' and just sip it. Do comment how nice and sweet it is irregardless of how it tastes. It is usually nice but sometimes it turns out to be too sweet, bitter or sour. However expressive and honest you are during this time try to keep a straight face and control those facial muscles, even though your stomach is trying its best to to expel that foreign liquid you just swallowed. Which is why the quick solution is a 'One Go' or 'Bottoms up' so that you are spared of long term pain finishing it slowly. However it is risky also because the host will feel that they have not given you enough as your face have not turned red enough (preferably your face turns blue or pale white). So to say 'NO' will not have any effect at this point. Out of courtesy one can try to say 'ONE MORE' of that torturous tuak. But also do note that 'ONE MORE' usually leads another 'ONE MORE' as the host attempts to show off their wine making skills. Some adventurous hosts may have prepared pineapple tuak which is different from the rice wine and which you will be definitely asked to try 'A LITTLE BIT'.
Now comes the tricky part as these the words tends to be next but in no particular order After 'ONE MORE' its always followed by either 'ONE FOR THE ROAD' or 'LAST GLASS'. That tends to complicate things because its that time when you discover that the host wish to show you that they have prospered over the harvest year and wish to share with you a foreign label liquor. Now do not get me wrong again, as when this invitation is done out of respect for you. To cut the long story short, they just wish to share their best spirit with you. So its really hard to say 'NO' at this point again. To get out of this situation you should say just 'A LITTLE BIT' and luck will be on your side if they have just one label. If they have several labels or sometimes they say a 'Special bottle'. If the room seems to be moving around you then its time to really go for that final 'LAST GLASS'. Do note that Special Bottle means some weird looking bottle that has a foreign name which is usually harmless if you take a 'LITTLE BIT'.
Avoid the local tequila at all costs, famously known as langkau or cap apek. This langkau or cap apek is usually volatile ~ just the smell of it is enough to send you running helter skelter. Then again you can say 'NO' or try a 'LITTLE BIT'. Finally after that 'LAST GLASS' and 'ONE FOR THE ROAD' and before leaving the bilik of the kind host there will be a proposed 'TOAST' led by either you or the host. During each toast everyone in the bilik will have to say a few words for each glass of toast and round off with an Ooohaaaaa! shout. Phew....when am I going to end this.....okay right after you have that FINAL TOAST its time to go and visit the next bilik in the longhouse. The same routine is expected in here and usually the next host will whisper to you, I have a special bottle......that you must try a 'LITTLE BIT'. So if the longhouse you are visiting has moe than 40 biliks......the best English word that may not have meaning for you now is Good Luck.
On a final note I wish to advice all Gawai Dayak celebrants be it hosts or visitors, please do not drink and drive. This is where you will really, really, be CHARGED and it will be by the PDRM Police. That traffic cop will be testing your breath and ask you 'CUKUP CHAS'? (CHARGED ENOUGH?) and you can tell him that you only had 'A LITTLE BIT' even though you drove on the wrong side of the road. Then you will be charged by King Robert in the Court of Law and no fancy lawyers with names like Johnny Walker, Jim Beam or Jack Daniels can save you.
Finally my ONE FOR THE ROAD toast wish in English for this post is 'HAVE A PROSPEROUS & HAPPY GAWAI DAYAK 2012', LET's GO CHARGING.