Preserve Dayak culture and customs

John Sikie joining in the Gawai Kelingkang ritual at Rh Gilbert Ngadi Kelawit, Tatau.

BINTULU: The Dayak community especially the Iban are urged to continue to preserves the culture and customs that has been inherited from generation to generation.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Native Law and Customs) Datuk John Sikie Tayai said it is a loss if the culture and tradition that should have been preserved, vanished as the time goes by.

“With the boom in the world of information technology (IT) today, the culture that should be preserved is increasingly eroded with the development of the world,” he said.

He said this when attending the Gawai Kelingkang and Gawai Tuah celebration at Rh Gilbert Ngadi Kelawit, Tatau.

Describing Gawai Kelingkang as rarely celebrated, the Kakus assemblyman said the present generation should be exposed on what is Gawai Kelingkang so that they would know what is the purpose of the ritual.

Gawai Kelingkang and Gawai Tuah celebration are held to ask for blessings to bring good luck or sustenance as well as good health.

“This Kelingkang Gawai is very rare here. In fact, there is younger generation who have never seen this kind of ritual,” he said.

John Sikie is also confident that such ceremony can strengthen the relationship between the locals as well as strengthen the unity among the community.