Tabi basa & greetings everyone. In this post, I’d like to share some of the images captured during Terence Giles & Christina Inon’s wedding reception at Kampung Pichin, Serian at our Homestay, or fondly called “Awah Gawai”, which literally means a place where we’ll have our festivities. Gawai itself means festivities and awah is veranda or “ruai” in Iban.
As usual, with any events at Kampung Pichin, it is usually held at Awah Gawai. Although Balû Tayung Langui (Grandma Langui’s Hall) is large, but being part of the larger Dayak community, our festivities is usually held at our Awah Gawai. In fact, that’s why it is called Awah Gawai – the place for us to have fun. Method of festivities might change over time but its intention remains the same over the centuries.
For this event, our DJ is Mr Roger “Papeng” William of Mezzavoce and emcee’s by Mr Sonny of Kuari zone.
Traditionally it is called “Parai Kuari” but Parai means “death” in Iban, although in Bidayuh it means a certain type of grass native to Bidayuh region. Therefore, we skipped the “Parai” though the locals just keep calling it Parai, as it doesn’t bring a bad meaning to us.
Before Couple’s Arrival
Before Terence and Christina arrived, I took the opportunity to do some photoshoot with folks from Nanga Teru Atas since they are available anyway. Most of them arrived early, around 5.30pm and was just sitting there.
When I invited them, those aunties were excited for some photoshoot at the wedding dais.
The Arrival of Couple & Welcoming
Once Terence & Christina arrived, we proceed to the far end of the Awah Gawai to welcome the guests that starts to flock-in the longhouse. It is fun to watch their antics as after 34 years of living, Terence is finally married.
Also, I am quite impressed because Mr Sonny, our emcee walked all the way to the door to personally check the progress. He also continually welcome guests in both Iban and Bidayuh language, to make them feel welcomed.
Bride & Groom March-In
Around 7.30pm, it is time for the couples to march-in from the entrance all the way to the dining table. Just like an old adage, they are like King and Queen of the night. Every single guests of the house will greet them.
They way they march to the dining table was just like how a King & Queen greets the people of their kingdom.
If in 2003, you will see only a handful of peoples have a camera, film camera, fondly called Kodak camera though it is actually a Fuji camera; in 2023, everyone is raising their smartphones and capture the images of Terence & Christina.
Once they arrived there, the “pingulu simayang” Mr Joe Liang or Mang Jalep (MJ) was invited to bless the food before the guests eat.
As a sign of respect, the folks from Nanga Teru Atas had their own food & drinks station, while for Muslim guests, their food is served at the middle room. Though some folks opt to eat halal foods since there were a lot of peoples flocking at those non-halal section, particularly those who would like to eat pork, traditionally prepared in Bidayuh style.
Photo with Couples
After they finished with their meal, the couple went to their wedding dais and greeted those who came later.
For Terence, he is being represented by Cikgu Hilarry Awan while Christina is represented by Tuai Rumah Nanga Teru Atas. The Ketua Kampung of Kpg Pichin, Mr Rioi also made his speech, before finally Cikgu Kennedy gave the cake blessing in accordance to Catholic ways.
For this cake-cutting ceremony, Terence & Christina as well as their parents went to front to complete the ceremony. As they were cutting the cake, the firework shells were being lighted up and gave an additional entertainment for the guests. Kids also are enjoying this fire show.
Before the toast, the crew distributed beers to the eventgoers before they start with the toast for Terence & Christina.
Unique Gift Performance
Those who came were entertained with a special peformance comprising of relatives of the couple from both Pichin & Ng. Teru Atas. It was a unique was to give gifts to the couple, I must say.
Then, for their first dance, it was a song by the late Hayn Naing, an underrated Bidayuh singer from Bukar region. One of his song that I love is called “Anih Salahku”. Coincidentally, the model in that clip is also Christina.
It’s Karaoke Time
For this karoke session, it was started by the singer from Kpg Pulau Piranuk, Terence’s mother village. After that, it was my turn. I sung Bekikis Bulu Betis, and to my pleasant surprise, people from Nanga Teru Atas poco-poco’ed to it. Thank you guys!
After that, it is the customary “nakuh” session. While other parts of Sarawak usually uses “sadong” for this, we at PIchin uses “nakuh”. Tukang Sadong is called “Tukang Nakuh”. Nakuh is Bidayuh Serian word that means to give someone something to drink. It can be any drink but we use alcoholic beverage instead.
In this “nakuh” session, we walk around and took a lot of photos along the way.
Being Tukang Nakuh, Terence cannot escape from drinking some of it. It is a well-known custom anyway.
Entertainment & Drinking Continues
While Terence & Christina nakuh around Awah Gawai, the entertainment continues. Karaoke is on-going.
What you see is the first-hand picture of how Bidayuh peoples are having festivities. Yes, there is a lot of bottles but it is only that is being done on a special session, or once-in-a-lifetime session, especially weddings.
Some doesn’t like it. Some likes it, but they are tied to commitments such that they cannot stay until the end of the event. This event ends at 4am anyway. At the end, we departed and bid farewell, until the next event, or someone’s wedding.
May God bless Terence & Christina!