Monday, May 17

Gawai Dayak 2010

This year Gawai Dayak saw greater unity among the Dayaks of Borneo as evident by the presence of our Dayak brothers and sisters Majlis Adat Dayak Nasional Indonesia and Kadazandusun Cultural Association of Sabah.

“My hope is that this kind of collaborative effort among the three biggest associations that represent the indigenous people of Borneo will be sustained,” said William Mawan, Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation in a message in the souvenir programme for the pre-gawai dinner-cum-cultural show on 15 May.

Gawai, he said, is a time for joy and celebration. More important, Gawai is also a time for us to forge the spirit of unity.

“This is the time for us to let go the divisive elements in us, whatever it may be. This is especially so among us Dayaks whom we know comprise many ethnic groups and coming from regions and localities far apart.

“It is not far-fetched for me to say that Gawai is a powerful unifying factor for us,”
he said.

I was hoping that this Gawai gathering should be the best one that I ever attended especially when witnessing the performance of the Indonesian Dayak cultural troupe.

But my hope was dashed and I was in no mood to enjoy after we were shabbily treated. I am referring to an ugly incident that could have been adverted, if there was a strict supervision by the organising committee.

Someone should have been appointed to ensure the table arrangement and numbering of tables was not disturbed. This type of incident kept on being repeated over and over again. Why can’t we learn from past mistakes?

For the night Gawai function, we bought a RM500 table hoping to be seated nearer the stage where the “Kumang” contest was to be held. And the colour of the tickets was pink indicating the RM500 table. We arrived at 6.00 pm.

To our surprise, we were asked to seat on a Table number 25J covered with a purple table cloth meant for the RM400 table. We were not the ones affected as there were few other people faced with similar problems. Ambrose Gramong and his guests were also grumbling as they asked to sit on a RM350 table.

I asked the SDNU Secretary General Joshua Jabing and assistant secretary Spencer Birai of the organising committee as to why we were seated in the RM400 table when our table should be in the RM500? They could not explain.

Naturally, each one of these people who were seated with me demanded the return of their RM10. It was very embarrassing to me and the guests. Worst if non-Dayaks were involved.

In future, no one wants to buy RM500 tables if this is the type of treatment that greets us.

Let us learn one or two things from this incident. One, numbering all the tables in their order and not one here, two at the other end and 20 near the table number one, and so and so on. In other words do not jumble the numbering of the tables.

If the tables are priced differently, then make a clear division. Someone should supervise this arrangement.

Please look after the comfort of the dinner guests, otherwise you are going to embarrass not only the organising committee, but also reflect badly on the SDNU as well as Dayak community.

And please do not allow other people who do not like SDNU to have an opportunity to criticise and condemn the organisation. We have enough of it. – The Broken Shield



Apai Semalau said...

Nothing surprising. Its frustrating nontheless. Dayaks here have short memories. When will they ever learn? Till the cows come home history repeats itself comes next gawai!
O by the way, take note, we have Indonesian dayaks but in Sarawak the word "dayak" is on its way out of the print. Thus do address their typing error, its no longer "Gawai Dayak 2010". Just simply " Ari Gawai".
SDNU may need a name change too? Suggestion - Sarawak Native Congress?

Agom said...

Brother Joe,

Not too choosy about the table, though you deserved to get what you have paid. The most important was your presence to support the function.

For me, I could not make it as I was in Sabah.

I just wonder, why Jabu seldoms attending any SDNU`s function? Was he not invited or excused himself?

Secondly, why SDNU was not involved in the pre- Gawai dinner for Bintulu Division held in Bintulu recently? The dinner was hosted by OUNA in collaboration with Sadia, DBNA and SIDS.

Anonymous said...

did u get ur money back? why not just go and sit on the pink tables...?? kick up a fuss..why always we dayaks do not kick up a fuss and meekly swallow what is given to us?

Mata Kuching said...

There is one sure way to find out when Taib Mahmud will be inspired enough to dissolve DUN and pave the way for state election is for George Chan to resign from his cabinet post and his state seat for the sake of all Malaysians in Sarawak.

George Chan, as president of SUPP, must step down and be personally responsible for SUPP’s defeat in Sibu Buy Election on 516.

And the fact that he said he didn’t know why the voters were unhappy with SUPP and UMNO controlled BN, showed that he is no longer qualified to hold any cabinet post and or represent the people of N.63-Piasau Miri.

That will spare the raykat and the press from speculating when the next State Eection will be held.

Mata Kuching said...

All the Churches which received grant (but in the eyes of God it is inducement or corruption) from UMNO controlled BN during the Sibu Buy Election campaign, should form a special committee to redistribute a portion or all the money to those Dayaks longhouses, Malays kampungs or Chinese villages and or rural schools which have yet to be connected with electricity and treated water. Get the advice of engineering consultants and also our new MP YB Wong Ho Leng on how best to carry out a gotong royong in these areas to connect electricity and treated water to these neglected Malaysians.

I will be most willing to volunteer myself as a labourer and am sure many Malaysians from all parts will be willing to work for free on this noble cause and project.

Stephen AKA Merekah Fajar said...

Uncle JT, very sorry you had to go through the ordeal of locating and ‘losing’ your Table.

It was a mess long before the event started. The numbers on the tables were jumbled up. I pity Spencer Birai, who in the end had to shoulder the blame.

I was one of those who faced the large crowd that evening being the Vice Chairman.

During our many Meetings, we did talk about it and how to control the crowd. We targeted about 1000 people but we got more than we could handle that night!

We are supposed to sell 100 tables but we sold 122 and we even received calls from those outside of Kuching asking for tables.

I hope next year the Committees selected must look into these matters seriously.

I apologise for the slight misunderstanding and hope it won’t happen ever again.

tsunami unleashed said...

I don't quite agreed with you commented on the table arrangement and the table u are seated at.

But then again, who are the organizing committee/s. If they can't even organized the table arrangement, how on earth are they going to organise peoples...LOL....

On second thought, whatever...

clown dayak said...

Aiyoh, this are all the familiar thing the dayak take for granted.They can't even organise a gathering so how can they organise themselves.

I'm a teacher at a local school and most of the dayak students are so forgetful that some even come to school without their school bag and some took the wrong school bag, which belong to another brother from a different school.It's just amazing that these dayak student don't really bother about details and urgency.

My personal experience is with a dayak friend. Once I went to fetch him for a function and all those who are attending this function must dress up formal and tidy. I cannot believe when during this function I notice he have his shirt inside out. I just laugh and when I told him about this, he just pretend as if nothing is unusual.

Anyway, dayak are known to be untidy but there are tidy ones. Dayak, learn fast and be a better dayak.

Anonymous said...

I have only this much to say. Despite all your write-ups and articles over the past years, the Iban voters in Sibu P212 have not been able to get all your messages and points across. How much longer does it take? Another 50 years down the road?

Anonymous said...

Kalau memang satu chupak, takkan boleh jadi satu gantang!!! Pity birai cos the dinner assignment is a bit too heavy for him.

The rest seems only interested in the Kumangs Kumangs especially for the neighbourhood.

Conspicously there was one short bespectacled local man who was totally restless throughout the dinner especially engaging himself with the (female) visitors. would have been beeta if he could have helped the forever below par Mr. Birai.

IN ALL HONESTY. we are nowhere near to Kumang and / or Keling. Please stop the nonsense (Competition).

Anonymous said...

Complaint sigi nyamai- dilah enda betulang....

Ahim Kato said...

A more pratical solution to the shortcomings in the future is not to overindulge yourself. When you think a certain number is enough then stop.

Crowd control has never been easy when we have very eager diners who are there to watch the show..

Miss Sarawak Pageant is an example..they have limited seats, so when the quota is full then those who are late will be left out

Pengayau said...

Pengerami ka manah tang kelam kabut, line-up program ti kelalu boring especially ba stage, stage manager baka ke enda nemu running the show, next gawai SDNU perlu ngiga urang ke lebih potential nyadi stage manager,kelalu maioh persembahan kaban ari kalimantan, main asal kitai Dayak Sarawak too little di highlight persembahan patut ngambi raban Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF), SDNU muai duit mayar band laban enda maioh persembahan,maioh sekeda bala besebut malam nya Mc enda patut ngena english laban nadai bala ribai bisi enggau pengerami nya, Iban enggau bahasa Melayu udah umbas,maioh audience malam nya enda berpuas hati enggau pemutus hakim kumang, ba penemu aku nya sigi adat bertanding tang baka sekeda bala akim nadai experience dalam field beauty pageant enti pekit kumang of cos pemajik markah ke tinggi, kedua pengelandik enti semina introduce kediri empu dalam seminit ngagai tiga minit enda patut markah besai ari pemajik,serta ketiga personaliti, pemutus best dress men n women of the nite ngasoh bala audience enda puast ati mega pakaian ka di kena biasa maioh urang bukai ke manah agi, nya maie pengabang enda puas hati. Tu ukai ka komplen tang tu siti ari penemu ka ulih ngemanahka agi Pengerami Gawai Dayak 2011 ila.

Anonymous said...

I am always amuse and bemuse by any functions organised by us Dayaks. There is always some happenings. That our beauty. May I suggest that we have tradition games or sports beside the culural shows. Kumang and keling contest are .....plain boring. The programme can run the whole day. This can be a tourist attraction and a source of revenue to the organisation involved. Don't be too boxed down year after year organising some cultural dance and beauty contest. SDNU should reach out to more people by involving more people like sports or games played by our ancestors of old.

Anonymous said...

kasihan SDNU. Year in and year out;

1. asyik dinner2

2. asyik pekit kumang2,

3. high profile visit to indon

- what hapen to rumah dayak?
- is it necessary to tunjuk2 to our brothers in indon.( fyi, they r far ahead of us in many fields)?
- Do you need a political scientist to tell us we have a lot of meaningful priorities???

WAKE UP BRO - No offence please

Anonymous said...

With due respect, this is a small event (probably 2,000 guests) and yet not organise.

Mayoh amai kitai ba komiti gawai tu bisi degree belajar Management lalu enda nemu organise utai ke mit tu.

What make you able to manage bigger event or managing the state of sarawak?