Anyway, 1st June is officially a public holiday in Sarawak to hail the Gawai Celebration or in those days it was called the Harvest Festival to mark the end of harvesting season and honest native farm folks gather together to say their prayers of thanks to the deity they believed in. However, native folks these days are more of a town people than farm people, and those still taking to the hills or down in the valley to plant padi are a small few. God bless them all. To find out more about the origin and history of Gawai, google it yourself or read more here.
My mom had a huge farm when I was growing up, and me and the siblings helped her in the padi fields more time than I remembered now. Tough days those were, especially in the beginning phase of planting and weeding. And the sun was so hot and cruel especially to a teenager coming home from school and straight to the padi field to help out. No rest. Sometimes I dozed off between the tall stalks when mom wasn't looking. Kids these days don't know what some folks go through to put rice on the table. When I reached 16, thankfully, mom stopped to help dad's church planting ministry. And here I am until today, buying rice from the supermarket like everybody else. Reminiscing.
AND for the good news: since Gawai is normally celebrated 2 days in a row, and 2nd June just happens to fall on a Saturday which coincides with the King's birthday, the following Monday was declared a State holiday. That means, it's a looooong weekend for the exotics and lovelies in the Land of Borneo. Wohoo!
I shall be at home all weekend catching up with the family, and maybe sneak out to get a doze of love from that amazing Caramel Macchiato, and some other friends who are celebrating. Maybe.
Oh! Oh! I was greeted by this lovely exotic crispy native delicacy when I got home today. Batches and batches of them in the canisters and plastic wrappers, gift from some relatives and family friends. Free stuff! Yeay! I'm not sure what it is generally called but to me it's always been known as Kuih Jala (jala as in net).
So here's wishing all the native folks of Sarawak a big
Or as we say it in Bidayuh Biatah:
Siramat Andu Gawai!
in Bidayuh Bau:
Seramat Ondu Gawea!
and in Iban:
Selamat Ari Gawai! Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!
(they're the only languages i know how to wish it with)
and to the rest, have a great holiday and a lovely weekend!