Gawai Exodus 2009

Its That Time of The Year

Yes, its that time of the year again. Gawai Dayak 2009 creeps up on me again. Not that I feel like dragging my feet to greet this happy occassion but the middle of the year is the time when its the peak period, workwise. I have recieved several SMSes from my West Malaysian counterparts who wish to hold meetings (even on 1 June 2009), inspect projects and conduct surveys during this period. Omigosh.... i explained to them that half of the offices in Sri Aman are empty now, as some of our officers have gone on Gawai Holiday. Okay, how about on the 3rd June 2009 they counter proposed. In the spirit of One Malaysia I explained to them that Gawai Celebration in Sarawak is one of a kind. Something akin to once in a year family reuinions amongs Dayaks from all over the world. Even weddings are organised at this time. Its not like those religous holidays where those who observe these events conduct their activities only on that particular day. For this Gawai occassion its something of a 'balik kampung' phenomenon where Dayaks (those ethnic groups that fall in this category), around Sarawak, even outside Sarawak, including overseas. Below are some of the 'balik kampung' scenes during pre Gawai in Sibu that I managed to take this morning.

Sibu Express Terminal scene as celebrants go to board Express Boards back to riverine towns like Kapit and Song and longhouses and villages along the river

Outside the Sibu Express Terminal I was surprised to see that they allowed poultry traders to operate. They sell live chickens even.......

Though the business is good but hygiene wise its filthy and smelly.....I am surprised that they never heard of chicken flu in this part of the town?

The ticket counters at the Express Terminal were full

Express boat passengers waiting patiently to purchase their tickets

Express boat loaded with boxes and travellers at Sibu Express Terminal

Another part of the Express Boat Terminal (going downriver to Kapit, Song and Belaga)

The Sarikei bound boat wharve near the Sibu Express Terminal is also full of travellers

Express boat operators doing brisk business in this part of town

Families wait patiently for their express boats at the Sibu Express Terminal

Its the same scene that I get to see every year since I boarded my first express boat as a child. Looking back at my kins in Sri Aman who enjoy better road access to their longhouses, our part of the world still waits with hoping that one day the roads will reach our part of the world. To all celebrants...may your Gawai be merry....Cheers with Ooohaa.


Pn Hamidah said…
Those scenes at the express wharf kinda nostalgic and bring back old fond memories of those good old days when we frequented Sarikei/Sibu/Kapit by the express boats but then there was no Express Terminal to serve the public.Tickets were all purchased on board.People from all walks of life and some in their adolescent years could have often run into each other but it sure then took a long time before their path crossed somewhere in the cyberworld..I sure would wish to go back there and take a trip down memory lane revisiting and reminiscing.. Thank you sir :)
jingpengboy said…
happy gawai to you desmond and all!
John Goh said…
hi, Desmond, "Selamat Hari Gawai, GAYU GURU GERAI NYAMAI", send our best wishes toall ur family........
John Goh said…
hi, Desmond, "SELAMAT HARI GAWAI, GAYU GURU GERAI NYAMAI", pls send our best wishes to all ur family members...
Lady Kiana said…
uitz... selamat ari gawai... how was ur gawai? kami nadai entu rami, nadai maioh bala pulai..

owh, express bahagia or wawasan, enda entu ingat, beleka ari song 5hb nya tadi, mimit dak ka karam, terlalu sarat hehe

hope you have a great gawai!!
Selamat gawai. memang best la gawai walaupun busy.
Anonymous said…
Hi Bro,
Happy Gawai to you and Family. Wishing you guys have a safe journey while visiting.
take care bro!