Rami Gawea Tudan 2023: Bidayuh Gawai Closing

Tabi basa & greetings everyone. In this post, I’d like to share about our recent Gawai Closing at Tudan, or simply Rami Gawea Tudan, organised by Tudan Bidayuh Community (TBC) at Tudan’s Community hall.


The desire to belong is a fundamental part of human nature. Being a Bidayuh, it is only natural to group together with other Bidayuhs as well, despite differences in dialects or origin. Though most Bidayuh dialects are not really mutually intelligible, that problem can easily be solved by speaking common language, such as Malay, Iban or English in professional setting.

That is also a good chance to learn about other Bidayuhs dialect. No excuse here. 

This rami was done as part of Bidayuh’s gawai closing, particularly for Miri Bidayuhs, especially those who resides at Senadin, Lutong, Tudan, Piasau though all Bidayuhs are invited to join.

The unique thing about this event is that it is not only attended by Bidayuhs, but also Ibans, Punan, Kayan, Kenyah – to name a few, all thanks to mixed-marriages. These mixed-marriages help to forge family bond between Bidayuhs and other races as well. That strong family bond is something that we are proud of, being Sarawakians in particular.

As for me, I dressed up in my Bidayuh Pichin’s classic costume as this is not something that other Bidayuhs get to see outside of my village. Even in my village, there’s only a handful of user, which includes Babeh Kimpa (Founder of Nam-Stengah, a Pichin’s cheer, meaning). 


Fulfilment differs from one person to another. Some find it when they are being paid; some find it by doing meaningful things. For me, these images are meaningful to me for they are part of my own life’s story & I enjoy the moments, with my friends here. There are things that worth more than money.


Whilst waiting for our VIP, I took a lot of photos, but most of the time, I just have a chat with my fellow DBNA dancers, those adik-adik. Adik2 Dayung Sangon also can be seen, though only Barbara is on duty, dressed in black, Bidayuh-inspired gown. Tania is not, just participating as guests.

Whilst chatting, we can hear gong-beaters practicing for their competition that night.


YB Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin didn’t manage to come. Cr Nicholas came in his place. DBNA Miri Branch chairman, Simon Ilus can be seen attending, with his deputy, Christopher.


For the opening, Ms. Agatha gave the speech on behalf of the organising committee, followed by Cr. Nicholas. 


This is the part of Gawai closing that we shared closely with Iban, where we will roll the mat as part of symbolic of Gawai closing. The main difference is that we don’t have “Ranyai”, as that is specific to Iban. 


It is not complete for us to have an event without having a prayer. Therefore, a short prayer session was done and also dinner blessing as well, potluck by fellow Bidayuhs here.


As for the special performance, DBNA Dancers took the stage to entertain these guests with Nyigar Birumuh, a dance inspired by harvesting actions on site.


This is special competition that was participated by the youngsters, including a newly-formed team, 2 hours before it starts. Overall, only three teams participted.




In any Gawai, it is not complete without any toasts. For this, Mr Simon Ilus lead the crowd to toast. Tara tara tara, followed by the bottoms-up the drink. Tuaks are served to the guests, while for others, they drink other beverages, including beer, tuak, langkau or soft drinks for kids.


To kickstart karaoke, Cr. Nicholas was given the honour, who choses Betterman by Robbie William. It was followed by Mr Simon Ilus and his fav song, Kang Kang Kulat. I peformed after him, my usual go-to song for Bidayuh rami, Kampung Love.

Kampung Love by Tukang Rantek. The stage is quite full too.

Biar Bekikis Bulu Betis song request by Mr & Mrs Simon Ilus. Thank you for sponsoring!


We also have a special sape performance by Ezra, who played his own composition. Just keep the momentum, and he might go somewhere in sape scene. For your info, he’s part of Sape Movement Junior despite his young age. Nai neh geh.


For the competition, it is not complete without the judges. Therefore, the token of appreciation was presented to the judges. 

There was also one surprise competition which no one was aware of, Best Dressed Competitioon. The winner female category was actually first-cousin to Bro Jimmy Punggek’s wife. What a small world!

For male category, I won. But for me, the overall winning was actually to be able to use my very own traditional costume’s, a complete one, after I first started using one back in 2010. 

2013 Memory – Gawai Shell


Lucky draw was on-going throughout the event. But I didn’t really capture this part as there is a lot of it.


This is the best part, where we sang karaoke songs, dance to it and enjoy, just like how it is supposed to be done. This is the closest that I can to my village’s celebration at Miri. Even if we celebrate it at hotel, we can only celebrate it up to 11am. At Pichin, it’s 6.30am. Nam stengah.

I also took these photos whilst dancing to the song. It is actually a good exercise and I don’t have to exercise on that day as I sweat a lot. Luckily I am wearing my kupak jacket, which has a good ventilation,


For me, it was a good celebration and a beautiful end for Gawai. This year’s Gawai is finally came to an end. There is no more Gawai, officially, although it doesn’t stop everyone from making their own “Gawai”, which includes weddings, engagements, celebration etc.

Looking forward to 2024’s Gawai & what it might offer. Feel free to read more articles from my site. As a start, here’s one: Dayung Bidayuh. 

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius (Del)

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