Ngampar Kirasek: Pre-Gawai Celebration At Kpg Pichin

Tabi basa and greetings everyone. In this post, I’d like to share about some of the pictures captured during pre-Gawai celebration at Kampung Pichin, Serian.

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Gawai is the most awaited day of the year for most Dayaks, be it Dayak Iban, Dayak Bidayuh etc. The thing about Sarawak, only Dayak Iban and Dayak Bidayuh were the ones celebrating Gawai, whereas Orang Ulu, a collective group didn’t officially celebrate Gawai though mixed-marriages, they will celebrate it. 

Rosary Month Closing

May each year is the month of rosary for Catholics. Pichin being an active Catholics village in Serian pray rosary every evening. In conjunction with it and to coincide with Gawai eve, we actually do the last rosary of the month at our long house, or simply Awah Gawai. Its full name is actually Awah Gawai Tun Abdul Razak but locals will just call it “awah gawai”. 

The planned rosary closing was actually 9pm, but due to heavy rain, it was deferred to 9.30pm. At 9pm, there was only a handful of people there.

Gawai Opening @ Ngampar Kirasek

To officially open our Gawai celebration, the Ketua Kampung, Mr Rioi Lagit and the Zon leaders (KaSiDi, Paddu, Bintau, Binyok, Pārai Bari, Pārai Kuari) did a symbolic of opening, by opening the mats together in a symbolic called “Ngampar Kirasek”. “Ngampar” means the act of opening the mat while “kirasek” is the type of rattan mat that is commonly associated with Bidayuh, though other Dayak tribes are using it too.

(note: pārai, a Bidayuh language, is actually a type of grass that was found in abundance during its opening a century ago, while “parai” in Iban means death. There is some difference in pronunciation but for unfamiliar ears, it sounds the same).

Joget Time

After the official opening, the emcee on duty, Cyril @ Tageg called the Zon leaders one by one to entertain us all. Those six were the official program, where after that it’s considered open karaoke session for those who present. 

Meanwhile, some just love to chill out and drink their beer at awah gawai, just like Mr Lobo.

Gawai: Zero Hour  

Once the clock nears 12am, all of us stand at the tanju of awah gawai and stand in attention while Negaraku and Ibu Pertiwiku is being played. There were few men who hoist the flag as majority of us sang the national anthem. 

There were some men who is assigned to light the fireworks, a task that some actually really enjoy. When I was a kid, I always admire those fireworks, especially the large ones that can create beautiful patterns in the sky.

Joget Continues

The joget was continued by inviting ladies to represent each zone, since previously were gentlemen’s turn. I didn’t resume there and continue to hangout with my friends elsewhere. I heard that it was only limited to 2am since the next day is Gawai mass.


Pre-Gawai from each district is different but in Pichin, it is a mix of modern way whilst keeping the traditional intent going lest it is forgotten by time. We can’t control what others will do, but we should take care of our traditional ways. 

p.s. Manih pli bihis buda? Ngin aku kelek ngudah gamar bihis buda.

Your Tukang Rantek / Rockstar Emcee (R★MC),

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