No Gawai for outsiders this year

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No Gawai for outsiders this year

KUCHING: In the previous years, Gawai Dayak was celebrated not just to offer gratitude for bountiful harvest but also to share the special occasion w

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KUCHING: In the previous years, Gawai Dayak was celebrated not just to offer gratitude for bountiful harvest but also to share the special occasion with the rest of Sarawakians in celebrating unity.

Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Ilus stated that like any other occasion, the Dayaks would open their doors to other races as a sign of unity, solidarity and close rapport among the people irrespective of their race, culture, religion and ethnicity.

“This time around, we’re unable to do the same due to the conditional movement control order (CMCO) implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 transmission,” he said in his Gawai message to Sarawakians today.

He noted that some villagers had even put up sign boards or notices to warn outsiders not to enter their villages during this occasion as a measure to prevent Covid-19 infection into their localities.

“Though it is very strange as all these while the Dayaks welcome them (outsiders) to celebrate Gawai together but I hope they will understand it. It is just a temporary measure during this period,” he elaborated.

However, he reminded the people not to be down-spirited by the inability to celebrate Gawai as usual.

The new norm, he said, is a new chapter that each and everyone should look into as a positive change in the way Gawai is celebrated.

“We’ll dearly miss our beloved relatives and friends who used to be around during this time, but I hope they will not be saddened with what we had gone through for the past two months. I advised them to be more practical and have patience as every nation is affected by the virus,” he said.

He continued: “I would like to wish all Sarawakians and the Dayaks in particular, a happy Gawai Dayak 2020. May this celebration bring more joy, happiness, good health and prosperity in the coming years.”

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