Category archives: Bidayuh

Gawai at Kpg Pichin (KaSiDi Zone) (ft. Carrie Geres & Mike Rantai)

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to share about the recent Gawai at KaSiDi Zone of Kpg Pichin, where KaSiDi stands for Karang, Siluang & Dimbong, named after each distinct zone at the eastern part of Piching, going out to Kpg Tebakang Dayak. While Orang Ulus used their “long” to name their settlement, Ibans used the term “Rumah”, Bidayuhs stick to the term “kampung” although historically, it is usually named after the river. In this case, Kpg Pichin was named after Piching River. The correct pronunciation is Piching, not Pichin. 

That’s the funny thing about Bidayuh villages. The spelling is different than its pronunciation. For those who know, they’ll just go by with it, though it often first timers at Bidayuh village. One of the more popular example is Kpg Taee. It is not one syllable, but two. The first part is pronounced as “Ta'”, with an apostrophe, and the second part is “ee”, “ee”as “ey” in “key”. So, it’s Ta’ee. But to make life simpler, it is spelled as Taee. Those who cares to know about it will learn more from the locals. 

Being born in 89, I witnessed a lot of changes in the ways we celebrate Gawai. When I was younnger, in the late 90s, we’re still doing a lot of fun stuff during Gawai. Listing it down, it includes chasing ducks game, sports, climbing an oiled pole, shooting money placed on a very tall tree (main caran), inter-zone sport event (Sukan Ntangan). Back then, it was lively. Too bad I was not able to capture it in cameras. My first phonr camera was bought back in 2007, only because I need to use ot for Matriculation. 

Entertainment also became more diversified. Previously, it was only bands. Now, we have more choices, including karaoke set. But sadly, the Kaleng Gawai & Dayung Timengen is not a common theme for Piching. I know we have a number of pretty girls and handsome boys, but whether they are interested to join such competition is not known. Your guess is as good as mine.

For this event, it was organised to celebrate Gawai for KaSiDi’s zone. At the same evening also, Paddu & Binyok’s zone also organised their own Gawai. Seems like everyone is doing Gawai for their own this year because there is no kampung-level Gawai celebration as per steer from the JKK. Ironically, if they want to avoid COVID-19 exposure, it seems to backfire because now we actually have much more Gawai. Oh well. I just leave it at that.

This Gawai was officiated by Dato’ Sri Richard Riot, who also organised his own Gawai on 1st June 2022. 

This Gawai also joined by local Bidayuh artists including the legendary Bidayuh singer, Mike Rantai and new generation singer, Carrie Geres. Her brothers, Lester and Bernie Geres also can be seen as well as her other half.

Manning the emcee chair is Mr Anthony Siong, who managed to make the night lively as he knows everyone there. 

Upon my arrival there, our village chief, Mr Rioi invited me to sit at the VIP table. I was honored. But everytime I return to the table after joget, my chair is stolen by someone with “influence” for no particular reason for a few times. Tired of that shit, I decided to just walk around and do what I do best, to take photographs and mix around the more sporting peoples, especially Lester & Bernie Geres. We had a good chat that night, and thanks to Lester & Bernie for the ride back home. We rock the night until 4.15am in the morning, and ended all of it with This Love by Maroon 5. It was a great night. 

Here’s are some of the photos of that great night. 

You can also follow me at Twitter, claudiusweson.

That’s all for now. Until next time!

Regards,
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius
Follow me on Twitter: claudiusweson

Bidayuh Serian’s paddy house, called “bari”. Not to be confused with “Baruk” (Bidayuh Bau) / “Balû'” (Bidayuh Serian) meaning assembly hall.
Yes, we like fireworks.

Gawai at Kpg Pichin

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today’s post is about Gawai celebration at Kpg Pichin. Before COVID-19 hits us, it was used to be celebrated in a much grander scale, with much better attendance. Our church, St Trinitas Kpg Pichin (Holy Trinity Church), was never enough to accommodate the ever-growing congregations. We never fail to spot people standing outside the church when it comes to Gawai mass every year.

For 2022 edition, the celebration was still solemn, but people starts to flock to church for annual Gawai mass. The celebrant was Brother Christian Levi, aka Tuki’, one of my childhood friend. It is good to see someone you grew up with, had his fair share of lost identity, finally had a good grip of life and is en route to achieve greatness in the field of his choice, i.e. to be a priest.

His voice is full of masculine energy, very unlike who he once was. Then we took photos outside the church, along with few friends that I have met. Including the Marly & Meeva. These two ladies took picture with me when I was still using my armsling. Looking at this photo, I kind of miss my M9-P + Summilux 50mm combo. Perhaps I will get my M in the future. As of now, I am using SL system, which is much better in terms of usability. But Leica M is an icon.

After the church mass was ended, I rushed back home to edit the pictures of 31st May 2022, after the “Biradang” event at Kpg Sejijag Plaman, Serian, where I followed my sister & her husband. You can read it here: “Biradang” at Kpg Sejijag.

Usually people will take it slow at the early days of 1st June because most of them would have stayed up on the 31st May to wait for midnight and light up the sky. Nowadays, people seems to be able to acquire fireworks easily. Long time ago, only the rich and YBs can afford it.

While waiting for the Dato’ Sri Richard Riot’s open house nearby at 4pm, I visited my grandma’s house, and my aunty’s house and did few photoshoots in between.

When it’s time for Open House, I brought my camera there and capture the moments. There was a random Chinese photographer who was eyeing my camera. Only when I sat down to take a rest, he approached me and have a look at my camera. He was seen using a Fujifilm X-T3 and lens 16-55 f/2.8, which is a good all-rounder lens considering it has an equivalent 24-70mm focal length in full frame.

There was a few official photographer and videographers on duty, but I didn’t recognise any of them. They seems to be too focused with their task at hand, as they should. They don’t interact much with the peoples around. On the other hand, I will talk a lot especially to the event-goers because I will definitely need to write something about it in my blog. Blogging is good, much better than Facebook post as I have 100% creative control. Those who likes to read my stories are most welcomed to subscribe to my blog.

Once the official event was done, I head back home, had a rest and returned back at around 10pm. I didn’t bring my Leica back that time, but I was lucky to be able to play with MacLister’s Leica M Typ 240. I skipped this one and went straight for M10.

There was too much fun at the hall that I didn’t regret didn’t bring my camera as it would be distracting. Once in a while, you need to wind down and enjoy, as well as having fun.

My uncle posed with M-240. Not mine though.
While waiting for my Uncle, I dropped by at my relative’s house and took the pics of my relative and their friends. I kind of miss this moments – of being so young again. Now, my friends are almost all married, settled down and won’t stay up later than 10pm. Forget about my female classmates from Piching, they are glued to their family.

That’s all about the post for 1st June. It is quite an eventful day for me, but the best is yet to come. As I write this blog, I realised that I like to share my journey in this manner. Though photography is not my full time career, it is an outlet for me to channel my creative side and to keep my technical career balanced.

p.s. I am aware that different people has a different approach, so it is totally up to the individual. If you happy with what you see here and wish to hire me, feel free to contact me via WhatsApp +60148677585.

You can also follow me at Twitter, claudiusweson.

That’s all for now. Until next time!

Regards,
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius
Follow me on Twitter: claudiusweson

Just before the blackout.
…and it’s blackout. But the show must go on.
It’s still blackout, but I increased the brightness in post.

Bi-Bugu Beauties

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! During Gawai, there is a lot of activities that peoples do. Some chose to have fun, some chose to visit their friends / relatives houses in a tradition called “bijarah” / “ngabang”. Some chose to drink & dance to Gawai songs. For us, we chose to do our very own photoshoot on the second day of Gawai.

For this photoshoot, I’ve collaborated with Cikgu Lelian of Kpg Bugu Mawang, Serian to do a photoshoot at her village, joined by other girls from BM.

I took this opportunity to “bijarah” to my aunty’s house there too before the shoot. It is our tradition. As usual, alcoholic drinks will be served. In case you’re not interested to drink, you can always decline politely because it is considered rude to decline something without any proper reasons. That is a common sense.

For our photoshoot, we just do it at the “bari” (paddy house) area, with the view overlooking the mountainous areas behind the village. Such is the signature look of Kpg Bugu Mawang. It is located at highlands. Other Bidayuh villages are generally located at lower areas. That is why the tapwater at Bugu is much colder compared to other Bidayuh areas.

Bi-Bugu, compared to other Bidayuh villages that I have visited are a happy bunch. Even though it is not Gawai, you can always hear someone playing music somewhere, as if the entertainment never stops at Bugu. But I’ll save that topic for another blog post.

The photoshoot went on smoothly. I always like to do a photoshoot with people who has no “diva” attitude. Though it is a side job, but it is important for us to do things that we like with the person that appreciates our work, especially art & things like photography.

For me, speed is important. In my artwork, I try to do it as much as possible in camera, and do some minor editing later on using CaptureOne. But I am aware that different people has a different approach, so it is totally up to the individual. If you happy with what you see here and wish to hire me, feel free to contact me via WhatsApp +60148677585.

You can also follow me at Twitter, claudiusweson.

That’s all for now. I hope you like the pictures here.

Regards,
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius
Follow me on Twitter: claudiusweson

Mr Kiran, the famous emcee from Kpg Bugu Mawang.

“Biradang” at Kpg Sejijag, Serian

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Just a little bit of my recent update, I no longer use my Facebook & Instagram, and will focus entirely on my website, so that I can deliver better to all of you. I will keep my Twitter though, so feel free to follow me there.

As for today, it’s Gawai. Therefore, I’d like to wish all of you Silamat Andu Gawai / Selamat Ari Gawai. Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai.

In this series, I’ll put the pictures captured during my recent visit to Kpg Sejijag Plaman, where I follow my sister & brother-in-law family there to welcome Gawai using “Biradang” custom, where the ladies give drinks to the men. As a precaution, these men brought their own cups to be used.

The biradang was followed by celebrations at long house at “Tangan Parai” (Parai Zone, where Tangan is used for section / area), using YouTube as main source of video.

Hope you enjoy. To follow my latest updates, follow me at Twitter @claudiusweson.

Regards,
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius