Tabi basa & greetings everyone. In this post, I’d like to share about some of the pictures captured during the wedding reception or as we call it, rami kawen for both Plonia Jane & Sabin, both came from Kpg Pichin and Kpg Reteh Mawang respectively. This event also was participated by lots of guests from Kpg Slabi, Kpg Kakai and some from Iban zone as their family is quite big.
At around 6.30pm, I make my move to the “kolong Gawai”, which basically means “place for Gawai”, though it has much more temporary nature. It is usually erected from bamboo and some traditional nature-based roofing. But since resources are more scarce nowadays and to save time, the temporary roof owned by Zone Parai Kuari are being erected. For each rami, each folks from respective zones will contribute time & energy to do the needy.
For men, they will do more labour-intensive works such as moving & lifting stuff; and doing the slaugthering if needed, especially bigger animals (mala panga). For women, they will concentrate more on food preparation.
The preparation was made since T-3 days to avoid rushing.
The Arrival of Bride & Groom
When I arrived there, I saw Joan & Nini was still there, holding the fort whilst the couples are yet to arrive. Tayok was also there, but her rank is actually Ayak (great grandma). I still call her Tayok though.
Roslin & Elek was there too, literally the first group of guest. They sat at the middle, since no the event was not started.
No long after that, Jane arrived. Beben was also there to help with Jane’s preparation since her green dress was quite long. Sabin followed her soon after. Then we can start with the next phase – welcoming guests.
Elek and Roslin became the first group of guests. Followed by a lot more people. The challenge for me was to capture the fast-moving crowd in a tight space. Therefore, just like any other photographer, I tried to look a things from a different perspective – I look for a higher ground. If there is none, make one.
Most of the folks coming are from Kpg Pichin; family, friends and relatives etc. There are also guests from Kpg Reteh Mawang and Kpg Slabi – relatives of Sabin.
The emcee for this event is Mr Dickson, another frequent emcee for Pichin events.
Food Blessing by Mr Joe Lihung
Once most of the invited guests have arrived, we moved to the next part of the event – the wedding reception blessing by Mr Joe Lihung, one of the most active guy in Kpg Pichin, be it religiously or even in the photoshoot that I had organised for senior couples.
The blessing was done in accordance to the Catholic rites since majority of the Pichin peoples are Catholics.
After that, those who attended lined-up for the food.
Blessing of Wedding & Cake
Once most of the peoples settled down, it is time to bless their wedding. This time is by Mr Sonny. He did it in twice, one for the wedding and one for the cake.
After cake cutting, it is time for both Sabin & Jane to give pieces of the cake to their respective parents and lastly, themselves. This sequence is quite uncommon though because usually it starts with couples, then to their respective parents.
Toast – Tara Tara Tara!
Now, just like any other Bidayuh rami, it is not complete without any toast. So, being Bidayuhs, we use Tara Tara Tara.
There was no planned First Dance actually, but I prompted Mr Dickson to proceed with it because wedding without first dance is not complete. In short, this is their first public dance once they were officially called husband and wife after church’s blessing.
For this dance, they danced to the song by Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight. This song became the standard song for any wedding event that I have attended. Maybe it is different elsewhere. Who knows?
Then, for whatever reason, the emcee invited the lead of Binyok, Mr Lawek to sing a song for the couples to joget. Both family joget alongside.
For those who didn’t know, “joget” is a borrowed term from Malay language which simply means “dance to the song”. It doesn’t really mean Malay Joget, but rather just simple joget moves.
There is a lot of thing that we can explore in this topic, especially about Malay words that was borrowed by Bidayuh but doesn’t mean its actual word in Malay. Another one is “moto”, where we used it when we want to say vehicle / “kenderaan” in Malay. But lot of my friends from Peninsular find this absurd, so I just stop explaining it to them.
After that joget, Zone Kuari’s lead, Uncle Luje also sang a song entitled Semut Merah.
Then, emcee calls the other singer to continue the session.
Speech by Bride’s Father
It’s a bit unconventional, but the speech by Mr Patrick, Jane’s father was late. Anyway, he made it short and just focus on thanking those that helped with the event’s preparation, which he truly appreciates.
I find it unique that Bidayuh doesn’t have word for “thank you”. But then I realised that Bidayuh shows their thanks through their actions, not words.
Karaoke Session – Onz!
After his speech, we resumed with the event. During the first part fo the event, the space was optimised for seating. But after a while, it was optimised for joget-joget. Reason being, before that people want to dance, but it is too near to the stage and it’s only a small space. Not really optimum for dancing. That’s why, they decided to enlarge the dancing floor. Some, like me, choose to dance barefoot because it is more comfortable. I also try not to enclose my feet in such a tiny space for a long time.
Sabin also sang a song during this time to entertain the guests.
While the guests dance to the song, both Jane & Sabin walked around and “nakuh omon” (aka nyadung ai, or giving drinks to the guests). Drink mentioned here is, as usual, is alcoholic beverage. To be precise, liquor. Most of the guests have no issue drinking it. But for those who wish to not drink it, they will just “ngapas” it by saying “pas-pas”, or just touching the cup.
Short Story about Ngapas
“Ngapas” is being done when you don’t want or don’t have time to consume something, but you don’t want to have offend the giver or when you don’t want the bad luck associated with rejecting it. So, you will do “pas-pas”. Not to be confused with “passing around stuff”. Welcome to the world of Bidayuh language.
It is quite complicated especially to those who doesn’t have any exposure to Bidayuh. But for those who get to know about Bidayuh, and happened to know a Bidayuh maiden, there are likelihood for them to fall in love and get married to one. Tara tara tara!
Bilagu & Bitanda Sampe Pagi
After that, it is basically free and easy. People dance and sing to the song. Those who doesn’t like to dance or sing, just basically chilling at the corner with their friends and drink and eat food prepared, especially those traditional Bidayuh foods.
Finally, Terence is 34 years’ old. So, we sung a happy birthday song for him, but I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I was busy singing happy birthday song to this classmate and childhood friend of mine.
Special Slot: Ella Bi-Pichin
Bi-Pichin have one talented guy, who was a super huge fan of Ella to the point that we call him “Ella”. Just name any of Ella’s song, he knows it. Last night, we were lucky to have him in the house and performed a version of Permata Biru (Blue Jewel).
To see how his fans reacted to him is really a part worth waiting for.
The End of Evangelion, opps… Event
No, no one is singing random “Komm Susser Todd” somewhere at the end. But rather just a simple plain Gelang Sipaku Gelang, after Boom Boom Boom Boom by yours truly since my song, “It’s My Life” was “hijacked” by Jojo and Atan. I don’t blame them – they are quite drunk anyway. DJ Benen also was surprised. That song is my fav and I have practiced a lot such that I am able to sing with my eyes closed. The high part really makes me feel alive. Well, I just want to live while I am alive. Anyway, we just laugh it off (both being sober) and I sang Livin’ On A Prayer (solo) and You Give Love A Bad Name with Mr Albert Jojo.
At the end of the event, we just had a chat with the rest of the peoples, including Shelly, Ebew and Brother Christian Tuki, which surprisingly stayed until the end of the event. No homily from him this Sunday.
Jac & Jonathan, despite being parents, also stayed until the very end, truly living their life & “You Only Live Once” principle.
After eating some “lamang” (Bidayuh’s version of lemang), we bid farewell to each other and promised to join rami at Awah Gawai to celebrate New Year 2024.
That’s all that we have for the second part. For those who read until the end, thank you very much and Happy New Year 2024!
May God bless Jane & Sabin!