Friday, May 31, 2013

Selamat Menyambut Hari Gawai & Keamatan

What is Gawai Dayak? 

Picture taken from Google
Gawai Dayak is a festival celebrated in Sarawak and West Kalimantan e.g. on 31 May and 1 June every year. It is both a religious and social occasion. The wordGawai means a ritual or festival whereas Dayak is a collective name for the native ethnic groups of Sarawak (and neighboring Indonesian Kalimantan): the Iban, also known as Sea Dayak and the Bidayuh people, also known as Land Dayak ans the Orang Ulu (inclusive of Kayans, Kenyahs, etc.). Thus, Gawai Dayak literally means "Dayak Festival". Dayak would visit their friends and relatives on this day. Such visit is more commonly known as "ngabang" in the Iban language. Those too far away to visit would receive greeting cards. If there is a formal invitation to visit, the ngalu pengabang/temuai (welcoming guests/visitors) activity will be performed by the inviting longhouse.
It started back in 1957 in a radio forum held by Tan Kingsley and Owen Liang, a radio programme organiser. This generated a lot of interest among the Dayak community.
The mode of celebration varies from place to place and the other place and to this place. Preparation starts early. Tuak (rice wine) is brewed (at least one month before the celebration) obviously using the rice from the recent bountiful harvest mixed with home-made ciping (yeast) for fermentation. The longhouse itse;f may be repaired and repainted if necessary before the celebration.

What is Keamatan?

The Kaamatan festival is an annual event in the cultural life of the Kadazandusuns of Sabah since time immemorial. In its deepest sense, Kaamatan festival is a manifestation of Creator and Creation relationship, as well as Inter-Creations relationship. It embodies the principal acts of invocation of divinities, appeasing, purification and restoration, re-union of benevolent spirits, and thanksgiving to the Source of All. It is part of a complex wholesome Momolian religious system centered on the paddy rites of passage and the life cycle of Bambarayon - the in-dwelling spirit of paddy.

Picture taken from Google
Appeasing is done in respect of Bambarayon, Deities, Divinities and Spirits, who may have been hurt by human
wrongful, acts. Purification is performed in respect of human and spiritual needs for forgiveness followed by resolutions to make themselves worthy of the gifts of life from God. Restoration in necessary to ensure the health and well being of SUNIL, mankind and other spiritual beings. Re-union is realised in respect of human needs to be integrated in body, mind and spirit within the concept of the seven-in-one divinity in humanity, as well as re-union of Bambarayon with human Sunduan. Finally Thanksgiving is observed as befitting for all creations to express their gratitude and appreciation for the gifts of life (through Huminodun) and all life supportive system on earth that their Creator lovingly and generously gave them.

No comments: