Stick to Gawai’s traditions but skip celebration – Mawan

Tan Sri William Mawan

KUCHING, May 22: The Dayak community are urged to tone down the usual Gawai celebration activities this year but stick to traditional practices like ‘miring’ (offering and prayer ceremony).

Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom emphasised that the Dayak community should adhere to the guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) for this year’s Gawai celebration amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We (SDNU), are in parallel with SDMC (State Disaster Management Committee) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas on matters regarding SOPs for Gawai celebration including, celebration only being allowed on the first day only.

“We also concur with SDMC’s guidelines that the attendance at festival celebrations including Gawai Dayak should be limited to close family members numbering not more than 20 at one time,” he said in a statement today.

Noting the eagerness for people to rush home for the Gawai celebration, Mawan, who is also Pakan assemblyman, however reminded that inter-district travel in Sarawak is only allowed for important purposes with written police permission.

“For the safety and health of our families, relatives and friends, we should tone down the usual Gawai celebration activities and stick to traditional practice of miring but skip the celebration part.

“And for those who have better internet excess, they can utilise video calls to communicate with families and relatives,” he advised.

For Christians celebrating Gawai, Mawan advised them to observe social distancing while having the Gawai Eve prayers and always put on face mask, use hand sanitisers as well as washing their hands regularly. – DayakDaily