Gawai Cheers

Thank You WIFI

Being deprived of modern city living in the rural areas has its blessings. After coming back to the town area from the Gawai holidays (though I am still on leave)I manage to get myself to a WIFI spot to check what I have been missing. After a few days of missing the newspaper and Internet I read about:

Why SUPP Lost the seats in the recent Elections.
Leadership crisis in the new State BN component, namely Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
The Police Force of Malaysia's Rumblings.
Earthquake in Indonesia
More turmoil in East Timor
Sarawak's performance in the SUKMA Games
World Cup Updates
Rural Air Service in Sarawak being suspended
Some DCA Staff being evicted in Sibu & Kuching
And many many more .......

How about that? Leave the Internet World for a second and a million events happen without you knowing it. Not intentionally - it reflects how things are in the rural areas are. The latest news would arrive late and by the time it reaches us there, I think other major events may have overtaken it. Things there are pretty much insulated from world events - so if you are a CNN freak, don't come here, really. To start a television here, one needs to start a generator. That means putting in some gas for the generator. Gas prices are too expensive now. And watching a TV program now is a luxury - for some of the family don't earn that much. That's how life is here. One of my Uncles who was playing stocks in the KL Stock Exchange had a tough time there. He kept looking for someone with ASTRO as the events around the world are happening so fast that he is worried about the effect of his stock prices. Furthermore in Kuala Lumpur, or West Malaysia, its not a Holiday so he needs to keep tab on his investments. Gosh... I would not want to be in his shoes. I rather stick with Magnum and Sportstoto. I am glad I found this WIFI Hotspot at The Regency Bintulu after attending my brother's wedding in Niah. I had planned to post some photos of our family Gawai Eve Gathering from my other Memory Card but somehow that card became unreadable as I need to install some software which I left in Kuching. Anyway I had some other Memory Card with some other photos and will upload them here. When I get back to Sibu, I will see what I can do - as there are a lot of softwares that you can get from Wisma Sanyan.

Picture from my camera phone: Shania looking at her 'PC' while I had mine. I had to buy her one toy laptop as she seem to be curious at why Daddy keeps opening up his computer notebook. Here in the Kemena Restaurant, Plaza Hotel, Bintulu I enjoyed fast Internet access. Shania also did some of her own learning in her toy PC.

Gawai Eve Miri Blessing - its an offering ritual by the village elders

The Gawai Toast (The Tuai Rumah or Headman of the Longhouse in Batik announces the Toast after his speech) or 'Ngirup Ai Pengayu' - the drinking of the Logevity Wine. It is the most common thing done during Gawai Eve. 'Pengayu' means long life. 99% of the time it is made of rice wine. Now in modern living it can be anything that contains liquor. Some non drinkers may bring their own can or bottle of soft drinks.

Longhouse folks converge on the Tuai Rumah's bilek (room) during the stroke of Gawai Midnite. Its like Gawai Eve - some of those who managed to survive the wedding celebrations during the previous night will be seen here. The menfolks must be suffering from a terrible hangover :)

The toast usually comes along with a loud 'OOOHHAAA" similiar to 'YAMSENG' or bottoms up

Some drink it fast, some drink it slow.

During the night of Gawai Eve, depending on each longhouse, certain events are always organised. It could be a beauty contest, traditional dance or some lucky draws. It dependson how the longhouse committee plans the events. Here my Dad is giving away hamper prices for a lucky draw event.

Gawai is mostly for the kids where they meet and play with their cousins. I remember that well when I was my daughter's age. It would always be the best time of the year. Here Shania is enjoying a walk along the footpath in the village with her cousin Allysa (longhouse).

Occassionally one gets to see these type of vessels plying along the river. You will have to wonder if these logs are legal or not. The menfolks who work in the timber camps knows better. They say the legal ones will have some markings on the log.

Next Post: The Niah Wedding

While I try to resolve the photos on my Memory Card, here's a preview of my upcoming post on my brother's wedding which was on 2nd June 2006 while the reception was on 3rd June 2006. Both of them being KLites City Dwellers will know what its like to have a wedding in a small town :)

Niah Cave Inn - the place where the family stayed. Its a 6 hours drive from Sbu Town and 50 minutes away from Miri City.

Here comes the bride, Alice in Wonderland - my sis in law.

Comments said…
waaaa ... must be tiring journey for u n ur family ... me, still bungau here ... post gawai effects i think ... *hic*
SIB KingFisher said…
can't wait your Gawai post...
gus said…
hey, it was my brother's wedding during Gawai holidays too. We were nearer to bintulu, at Rumah Garena, 20 minutes from town. My family drove down to bintulu on the second gawai. Happy Gawai Desmond. I'm sure the mood is still festive. I don't have many gawai picture, unfortunately. That's why I'm happy to see yours. I bet there's more. And the wedding pictures, can't wait.
Got any nice pretty girls you wanna introduce to me..? Your sis in law pretty huh!

Wow... the tuak and the booze. I haven't been to any booze party for a long long long long long long long long long long time! Sigh. No my tolerence for booze is like 0!
GerubiTuai said…
Igat Des, still recovering nuan diatu? Post-Gawai syndrome bisi amat nya ditaban pulai ke Kuching neh! Poohhh the last time I was in Niah, if my old cranium tu agi ulih ngingatka utai, hmmm early 80's...hahaha drink hard, mabuk hard, play hard and work smart pia iya?