Celebrating Gawai at Kampung Benuk.

KUCHING: Co-Organising chairman of Gawai Dayak Celebration at Kampung Benuk and Gawai Dayak 2019, Sanjan Daik said this year’s celebration became very meaningful for the villagers of Kampung Benuk because they had the opportunity to celebrate Gawai together with the presence of two federal ministers and members of parliament at their longhouse.

“We are definitely very happy as this is the first-time federal ministers visit our village since Pakatan Harapan government took over from the previous federal government,” Sanjan said in a press statement.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo became the guest of honour at the Gawai Dayak celebration at Kampung Benuk in line with the “Program Pemimpin Bersama Rakyat”.

Also present at the event were Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yee and Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin.

Kampung Benuk used to be one of the main tourist attractions in the 70s and 80s but due to modernisation the longhouse has given way to modern detached houses leaving the longhouse with only four units.

Some 500 people gathered at the “awah” (covered verandah) and the “tanju” (open verandah) during the function at the longhouse to witnessed and joined in the celebration.

Celebrating Gawai at Kampung Benuk.

In his speech Gobind praised the villagers for preserving and promoting their culture to other races and to the world so that more tourists will come to Sarawak which will benefit the state.

Ketua Kaum Miso Nangi in his speech requested the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to look into the problem of poor Internet connections and telephone lines in the village as well as in the whole of Puncak Borneo.

Miso also requested the MCMC to set up an Internet centre in the village so that the youths can use it as a resource centre to keep abreast with the information age.

“We hope the MCMC will look into our request and also give us financial allocations to buy instruments such as gongs and drums to enable us to hold cultural performances,” Miso said.