Tags archives: Serian

Charlist & Lorita: Bidayuh-Iban Love Story

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to share about the recent work that I have done at Serian – a wedding reception between Charlist & Lorita, a Bidayuh from Kpg Pichin and an Iban (Remun, to be exact) from Kpg Semukoi respectively.

There is a YouTube video version of the event, which you can watch here. Do consider to Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

They were in a relationship for 15 years before actually tying the knot. Their official wedding took place on 16th Aug 2022 and as per locals custom, the wedding reception can be done at a later date. This gives more flexibility in terms of their planning and also allows family members and friends to arrange their plan in order to attend their wedding.

BIDAYUH SERIAN

Charlist is a Pichin lad, where his mother is from Kpg Pichin and his late father from Kpg Tebakang Dayak. For us at Serian, it is easy to know whether you are from which village because each village has their own identical dialects. Piching has their own unique “tan neh” filler words. In Bidayuh Serian, the word “iban” refers to “isan” in Iban language, which refers to the relationship between parents of married couples. Meanwhile, “tuwa” is how the couple refers to their parents in law. This is not to be confused with “tuak” (rice wine).

The funny thing is in Bidayuh Biatah / SIburan, the same “tuwa” words refers to your uncle / aunty that is younger than your parents. This is just some of the examples of how complex Bidayuh language is.

IBAN REMUN

For those who didn’t know, Iban is the biggest ethnic group at Sarawak, followed by Bidayuh. Both are Dayaks, therefore both celebrates Gawai and there are various similarities. Mixed-marriage between Iban and Bidayuh is also common.

Being the biggest ethnic group in Sarawak, Iban is bound to have dialect variation due to geographical distance as Iban people progresses through time. Lorita is from Iban Remun’s tribe. Iban Remun language is different from standard Iban language. Their dialect is different from other Iban speakers from other parts of Sarawak, including Betong, Simanggang (Sri Aman), Sarikei, Rajang etc. Remun Ibans reside around Serian, Simunjan and Balai Ringin.

If you look up samples of Iban Remun in Google, the two most popular example are as follows:

“Entai ku ngilau” (Iban Remun) – “Nadai ku meda” (Standard Iban) – “I cannot see”
“Entauk ku badak” (Iban Remun) – “Enda ku nemu” (Standard Iban) – “I don’t know”

Other common example of Iban Remun words

These unique dialect is something that every Iban Remun needs to protect, lest it will be lost with time due to various reasons, which is something that Serian Iban Remun Association (SIRA) is fighting to prevent from happening.

CHARLIST & LORITA WEDDING RECEPTION

Back to Charlist, the wedding reception is always a moment that is being awaited for, especially when it comes to a friend that have known for so long yet haven’t settled down with his / her life’s partner. For Charlist & Lorita, it is a special night to celebrate their love along with their family and friends. 

The event started at 6.30pm at Roxy Hotel, Serian. Both bride & groom walked in with accompaniment from dancers in full costume representing their respective ethnics. After that, there was a bit of religious segment of the night, where Pastor Lawrance gave a sharing from the Word of God to both Charlist & Lorita. 

After blessing was done, cake-cutting ceremony follows. That’s where Charlist & Lorita cut the cake together, as a symbolic of undertaking the task in life together, and share the fruit of their labours with both family. As correctly mentioned by Mr Jantai, Lorita’s father, the union is not only between Lorita & Charlist but the union between both families. He himself has a new son, i.e. Charlist.

Once the cake-cutting ceremony is done, a new symbolic ceremony took place.

ADAT PERNIKAHAN BUNGAI PINANG

The custom called “Adat Pernikahan Bungai Pinang” is an Iban Remun’s traditional customs and I haven’t witnessed it being done elsewhere apart from Remun areas. It is a unique custom where representatives from each family goes to the front to the ceremony master. 

But before that, a tajau is prepared along with the other traditional items, including a Pua Kumbu (Iban’s ceremonial textile) & sarong on top of brass tray (talam loyang) or sometimes silver or gold. Inside that tajau are a bunch of “ai bisa” (alcoholic beverages), where home-made tuak also can be used though in this case their opt for commercialised drinks as long as it meets the purpose / objective of the tradition.

One person from groom side will take first, followed by a rep from bride’s side.

Whichever bottles they have obtained, it will be shared among the representatives. Once done, the bottle from the bride’s side will be opened and shared. Since this is a mixed wedding, Bidayuh cheers “Tara Tara Tara” was used.

After the “Bungai Pinang” ceremony, Mr Jantai officiated the singing session with “Bekikis Bulu Betis”, a legendary song sung by Andrewson Ngalai, a renowned Sarawakian singer from Iban group. The group at the back dance enthusiastically to the song, with chanting of “Indi, Duweh, Taruh” breaking the ice between the guests.

Wonderful Tonight Slow Dance Session

After “Bekikis Bulu Betis”, it was the time for first dance, slow dance between Charlist & Lorita, though other couples are most welcomed to join. The song for this slow dance is “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, and sung by yours truly, Tukang Rantek.

After that, it was free & easy. There were a lot of dances happening around the hall, cheers Tara Tara Tara heard from the dancing guests. Charlist & Lorita finds it difficult to have a rest because there will be excited guests from family and friends group who will come to congratulate them, givings gifts to them and most importantly, group photo with the bride & groom.

Dancefloor that never rests.

The event ends officially at 11pm, but after-party at Kpg Semukoi picked up where the official dinner left off. DJ’ed by Charlists cousins, Benen & Atai & his uncle, Mr Sangkitang, the afterparty goes on until 4am in the morning.

EPILOGUE

One thing that I like about this kind of event is that I am able to catch up with long, lost friends such as Dolin, Po-et, etc, those whom I don’t get to see on day-to-day basis due to life’s path. It is good to see childhood friends such as Boyong & Achik, Buntek, Jantul, Teten etc have a good family of their own, a path which Charlist & Lorita soon will follow suit.

Looking at them reminds me to the good old days, where life’s biggest challenge was UPSR, an exam which our late headmaster, Guru Besar Patrick Dabot from Kpg Tebakang Dayak wants us to excel in.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson (Del)
WhatsApp: +60148677585 for more info / enquiries.
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

Note:
1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.
2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.

EVENT PHOTO GALLERY

Tukang Rantek PresentsNutu Gawai Zon Kuari (Kpg Pichin)Gawai Closing 2022

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Tabi basa & greetings everyone,

Gawai is Harvest Festival for Dayak, and it is celebrated annually on 1 June 2022. But when there is Gawai, there is its closing. In Iban, it is called Ngiling Bidai. In Bidayuh, it is simply called Nutu Gawai, or formally called Mparing Sawa. By itself, it is an elaborate celebrate with lots of ceremony in between. For the sake of this simple celebration at Ntangan / Zon level, it is sufficient for us to celebrate it in a simple way as agreed per discussion with fellow Bi-Kuari (Kuari folks).

It started with our traditional dance, Langgi Pingadap by Kuari youths, followed by prayer. After the speeches by our Zon President, the newly-appointed Mr Luje, my own bachelor uncle (Bujang Tuai), the event starts off with dinner.

We also pulled of surprise birthday celebration for Kuari Chief. His birthday was few days ago, but we combined it along with this celebration to make it more special, and the fact that he was appointed not so long ago as the leader.

However it rains. Kinda spoil the fun because the venue was not totally prepared for a heavy downpour like what we experienced. It raining cats and dogs. But that’s ok though, because there is no way we are going to call-off the dinner. The show must go on.

Heavy Rain (Leica SL & Noctilux 50mm)

There was a beer-chugging events last night, and the winner is Mr Colin @ Babeh Ayem. The winner for female category is Asau Joji, with a blitz 8 second record for 1 tin. That is extremely fast. I joined the male category, and lots of us struggle with beer’s outflow due to gas expansion. I can’t imagine how she managed to pull that off. What a skill!

Brother Christian Levi with his Cameroon’s traditional attire, a gift from the community there.
Mr Godes still got the moves.
Beer-chugging King, Mr Colin
Beer-chugging Queen, Asau Joji
Most Supporting Children (Anak Nini)

King and Queen of the night is Mr Sangkitang, host of the night and Pn Rosina.

King & Queen of the Night – Mdm Rosina & Mr Sangkitang with Deputy Zon Kuari, Mr Sonny (Left)

The rest of the pictures here are the flow of the event. There was lot of prize-giving, thanks to the new gift-exchange event. It was part of the way to make an event more lively.

The event was rocking on until 5am. That’s how Gawai is normally. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Have a good week ahead!

Fallen brother.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson
Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

Note:
1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.
2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.

EVENT PICTURE GALLERY

Here’s the additional pictures for the event. It was arranged in chronological order. Enjoy!

Babeh Gagap maan wangadep
Talents for previous Pichin Project
Mbuh tanan nundu Dadug. Pkl 5 brupagi.

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.