Gawai: Closing Soon

Ngiling Tikai - Bidai

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.

Ye Gods - its as if the flags have been shot to pieces! Flags location - the future Miri Marina Photos credit: Darren Jerukan

Meeting up with the Akedemi Fantasia 3 stars at Servey Miri during the Jom Heboh Festival on 3 - 4 June 2006. Here they are signing autographs on an umbrella for the Servey Manager

Yeap - this advert at Boulevard caught my attention. I did not know that the mosquitoes go around in a group of gang. The last time I was informed they seem to be swarming a place. These mosquitoes can turn into gangsters.

One interesting equipment that caught my attention in Miri Resort City is the Karaoke Room Box. I discovered this at the Boulevard Shopping Mall (Entertainment & Amusement Level). You just need to pay RM1 (2 Tokens) to exercise those vocal chords. Go in there and sing your heart out. They also have a variety of songs for you to choose from. Strangely I have not found this in Kuching City yet.

Instructions for this Karaoke Box is simple. They still need to improve the soundproof aspect of the boxes available which are next to each other. I was trying oneof the equipment when I saw a lot of people were giggling as I sang. There were four Karaoke Room Boxes there and me and my brother in law sang our hearts out while the kids played the video games.

Miri to Bintulu

Driving back from Miri using the Coastal Road, we decided to stay one night in Bintulu. I have not been to Bintulu for quite some time so it would be worth the trip before heading back to Sibu. Its not that Ihave never been to Bintulu. I do attend meetings once a while in Bintulu but most of the trips I made there are day trips. I have yet to find some exciting things to make me stay the night. But Bintulu is another kind of experience though if it meets your appetite. Being an industrial based town, one gets to see so many entertainment night spots like Karaokes and Dangdut pubs. Probably its age catching up with me as I am rather allergic to smoky closed up places now - thus I skip these places.

The likely scene one will encounter on the Similajau - Bintulu Road. Photo taken by Darren Jerukan. It shows the cause for the road quality deterioration
The beautiful sunset you get to see when you drive along the Coastal Similajau Road

Bintulu - anda mencari Cinta? There's a Cinta Pub that has a Dangdut Band to entertain clients

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 Waterfront

The Regency/Plaza Bintulu

We stayed at the Regency/Plaza Bintulu. The hotel has several eye catching signs which i would love to put here.

'Indubitably' - ermm..someone get a dictionary before I eat in this place! Ah yes, it means "Undoutedbly", try it if you have the extra cash :)

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 Parking Lot also has this reminder. I don't get to see this in Kuching. It seems that the snatch thieves here have managed to get themselves a permanent name.

Yeap - try to go to any corner of the hotel and you will not get the chance to 'pee' indiscriminately coz they know where the hot spots are. Use the hotel toilet please.

In the drawers of the Hotel you will be able to find the three important books - The Bible, The Quran and The Teaching of Buddha

The lobby

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


Elsa Gabriel said…
What a wonderful big happy family u have :) and the families events was great..luv the culture..
Coconut Ice said…
its nice to see families gather together to celebrate. I remember the road trips we used to take from Miri to Kuching and back. Those were fun times :D

oh btw, i moved my blog to
it seemd you are having lots of feastin, drinking, dinning and getting pissed lately... Very nice! I wished has these more often!

Apai Salleh said…
"Ai Ijok" ????

Looks like Todi spirit liquer to me
Rentap said…
I must have missed the time you were in Bawang Assan for the wedding.I came on Gawai Eve and left 2 days later.If I know, sure I go meet you liau :)
SIB KingFisher said…
sometime I really like to read other people journey. enjoy reading it .. post more...
Miriguy said…
wow. I havent been in here for quite a while ;)
Nice photos!
Netster23 said…
Wow Great post!

Cheers & Happy new year!