Come home no matter where you are, youths told

KUCHING: The youths should return home to their families to celebrate the Gawai Dayak no matter where they are.

This was emphasised by Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah when contacted recently.

Fatimah said that the practice of “balik kampung” (returning home) must be embedded among youths especially during festive seasons.

“Gawai Dayak celebration is a happy time for all especially families.

“It is a time not only to cement family ties that binds but also contribute to social well-being and happiness in the community,” she told New Sarawak Tribune.

Fatimah gets a hug during ngabang (visiting) at a longhouse for Gawai celebration.

Fatimah further stated that celebrating Gawai in the longhouse is an experience that she would always cherish.

“The festive atmosphere, warmth, sincerity and happiness in welcoming guests are very touching.

“Apart from that, they also have entertainment such as ngajat (traditional dance) and poco-poco (popular line dance),” she said.

Pointing out the consideration by the Dayaks, Fatimah added that they did not offer her tuak (traditional rice wine) and went through various trouble to use different plates for serving.

“This is because they understand that Muslims don’t take tuak and eat pork. Therefore, I’m touched by the thoughtfulness,” she said.