Thumbs-up for Gawai dinner show

Robert Kenneth

KUCHING: A brilliant show with a new concept and professionally organised.

That was how guests described the show put up at Saturday’s night state Gawai Dayak celebration dinner held at the Imperial Hotel here.

As host of the celebration, the Bidayuh community certainly had raised the standard of the Gawai Dayak celebration.

The Orang Ulu community will be hosting next year’s do.

For the very first time, the Bidayuh community showcased the authentic Bidayuh Gawai to their guests.

An authentic Gawai set-up was put in place outside the dining hall – much to the interest of the guests who wanted to know more about it.

Abang Johari leads the Gawai toast.

Upon their arrival at the Gawai set-up area, guest of honour, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife were invited to sit on a special wooden bench. Gawai rituals performed by a Gawai chief followed suit.

The guests were later greeted by three world renowned ring ladies of Kampung Semban, who were wearing their authentic costumes with the brass rings on their legs.

After posing with the ring ladies, Abang Johari and his wife were ushered to the dining hall where they were greeted with a welcoming Budayuh traditional dance performance.

A joint performance by the cultural troupes, Dayak artistes and beauty queens.

While enjoying their dinner, the guests were entertained by a Bidayuh artiste Harry Acid Rain, Iban artiste Melissa Francis and Penan artiste Jolly Jengan.

The show continued with the beauty parade by the Bidayuh Dayung Sangon, Iban Kumangs, Orang Ulu Keligits and “warriors” from the three communities.

The highlights of the show were the special appearance of three Dayak international beauty pageant winners, namely Miss World Talent 20014 Dewi Liana Seriestha, Miss World Malaysia Larissa Ping and second runner-up of Miss Planet International Viviana Lin.

Dewi (centre), Viviana (left) and Larissa rendering a song during the show.

As promised Dewi sang “Don Juan Triumphant” from a renowned musical “The Phantom of The Opera”, the song she sang at the Miss World 2014 in London; this song eventually made her the winner of the Miss World Talent 2014 at the competition, defeating McKeating of Scotland and 120 other contestants from around the world.

The chief minister and his wife were also invited to the stage to lead the Gawai toast with other state cabinet ministers and dignitaries.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin, who is also the chairman of the state-level Gawai Dayak celebration, said he was satisfied and happy with the success of the event, especially the show put up by the cultural troupes, beauty queens and singers.

Dewi on the catwalk.

The chief minister, in his speech, also praised the organising committee and those involved for the successful celebration.

This year’s state authentic Gawai Dayak celebration was also held at Annah Rais longhouse and Kampung Jagoi Duyoh in Bau District on May 31 and June 1, respectively and at Kampung Pueh in Lundu on June 2.

The Bau District Gawai celebration, meanwhile, will be held at the Bau Dewan Suarah on June 22.

The closing ceremony of this year’s Gawai Dayak celebration will be held in the evening of June 29 at Awah Gawai Kampung Pichin in Serian where the passing of the Gawai baton to next year’s host, the Orang Ulu community will also be held.

Viviana on the catwalk.
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