Refreshing Dabai ice cream, bittersweet “Tuak Madu Kelulut” among attractions at Gawai Bazaar 2022


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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, June 23: On a warm and pleasant late afternoon on the seventh day of the ‘Gawai Bazaar 2022’, visitors of various ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds were seen purchasing food and merchandise from vendors as early as 4.30pm.

Visitors picking out handmade items before purchasing.

There was a lively atmosphere at the bazaar today, which is held at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) compound in Padungan, buoyed by the sound of traditional music from the stage area with ongoing stage preparations and rehearsals for the “Malam Kesenian Suku Kaum Orang Iban” event.


Stage preparations and rehearsals underway for the “Malam Kesenian Suku Kaum Orang Iban” event.

Along one side of the venue, there are stalls selling a variety of traditional food, while on the other side, merchandise such as handcrafted bags by the Penan, necklaces, earrings, woven baskets, and other items are sold.

Lemang Betawi.
There is a wide range of handcrafted items on sale at the bazaar.

As you proceed deeper into the compound, you can see white smoke filling the air and smell the tantalising aroma of food cooking from a variety of vendors grilling and frying meats and other foods.

A stall at the bazaar selling grilled meat.

Visitors can also be seen happily tucking into delicious fare with their families and friends at the provided tables and chairs after purchasing food from the stalls, filling the atmosphere with laughter and conversation.

Among the many traditional foods or food using traditional ingredients sold at the bazaar, two which stood out to this reporter were the unique Dabai ice cream and “Tuak Madu Kelulut”.

“Tuak Madu Kelulut” and Dabai ice cream are available at Gawai Bazaar 2022.

The Dabai ice cream has a nice Dabai flavour which is not overpowering, and it provides a refreshing taste as well as a delicious note to cap off a warm and pleasant evening.

As for the “Tuak Madu Kelulut”, which is fermented from local stingless bee honey and yeast, the flavour is semi-sweet, buttery, and finishes bittersweet.

There are three more days to go for Gawai Bazaar 2022, and it will end on June 26, 2022 at 11pm.

The bazaar runs from 4pm to 11pm on weekdays and 10am to 11pm on weekends.

There will be a “Band Hiburan” performance from 8pm-10.30pm on Friday (June 24), and a “Sarawakian Got Talent” event from 11am-5pm on Saturday (June 25), as well as a “Akhir Gawai Idol” competition and a “Sekolah Seni Sarawak” special performance, both from 8pm-10.30pm.

Furthermore, on Sunday (June 26), there will be a “Sarawakian Got Talent” event from 10am-5pm, a “Muzik Hiburan: Lagu & Muzik” performance from 6pm-8pm, a live band performance and a “Artis Dayak Popular” performance both from 8pm-10.30pm. — DayakDaily