Saturday, June 06, 2009

Gawai Dayak in Sibu

When I returned to Kuching in April, I vowed that I would make a road trip to Miri to visit one of my former housemates. Unfortunately, thats not happening anytime soon (not on this trip, at least), so Sibu is somewhat a compromise, as it is a town between Kuching and Miri.

Sibu is famous for its Foochow-related delicacies, such as Kampua. And as I am Foochow, I should theoretically love it. But well... thats not always the case. If you are from Sibu and you do not know what Kampua is... shame on you!

I shall leave aside my images on Sibu for another post, but in the meantime, I'd like to share my experience of celebrating Gawai Dayak in Sibu.

IF you're thinking somehow that I have Iban roots, I don't. My mom's cousin's wife's stepmother (aka. aunty) is Iban, and we had the opportunity to visit some long houses along the Sibu Bintulu road.

The Iban's are pretty resourceful in making their own food for this festival. This is a local biscuit which I do not know the name of, but its pretty tasty.

Everyone had a good time eating and drinking. I miss the ayam pansoh (bamboo chicken) and babi hutan (barebequed wild boar).

As each longhouse is home to a tightly knit community of Ibans, it is only polite to visit the other neighbours in this community during the Gawai Festival.

Each house will prepare their own set of delicacies, ranging from curries to cakes, cookies and finger food. Of course, alchohol consumption is a must during this festival. Each house will prepare their own rice wine (tuak) to serve to guests.

I was also scanning my surroudings for candid photo opportunities. This little girl did not dissapoint :)

Even people who reside in nearby longhouses take the opportunity to visit each other during this joyous period.

Food is always plentiful, so lets dig in!

I only got one decent shot of this boy who stared at me with an inquisitive expression.

My aunt's on the left, and her step mother on the right.

After a heavy meal, there's nothing better than being able to lie down and take a rest!

The Dayak's are a pretty amiable and friendly folk.

Some folk didn't mind entertaining us with their traditional dances and martial art moves!

Long houses are awfully cheap structures to build. A mid sized unit nowadays costs around rm 30,000 (or less than 10,000 AUD), which is even cheaper than second hand car in Melbourne!



AnandaSim said...

Lovely work, Brandon. Outsiders won't have this insight or oppurtunity to see such an event or mix of people and environment. Thanks!

changyang1230 said...

You are so bad la Brandon, four lovely ladies posed for you for a shot but you only put one in focus and make the other three part of your bokeh.

Richard Ling said...

jealous la. u take good photos.

brandon said...

chang yang... it was unintentional... i swear!

suituapui said...

The delicacy in ur third pic is kuih jala...but some call it ants' nest.


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