Treasure your roots, Uggah advises young Dayaks

Uggah (second left) with Chuat (third right) and Gerald (fourth right) with members of the Betong Gagung team in a group photo.

BETONG, May 4: The new Dayak generation should know their culture well to develop, treasure and cherish them.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah emphasised that culture was a very important aspect of their life as it was a way of life of their older generations.

“We have very beautiful and colourful culture as manifested especially in our traditional costumes and our dances,” he said when officiating at the prize-giving ceremony of the Betong Division Gawai Procession at Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan Hall, here, today.

Uggah being offered ‘Ai Lua Kenyalang tuak’ from Aji Mikai and Nicholas Dadu.
Uggah beating the gong to officiate the closing of the procession.

“We should be proud of it. It can contribute to the diversity of Malaysian cultures. By preserving our culture, we could continue to proudly show it to the world,” he added.

The many activities, Uggah pointed out, could also be very captivating to foreign tourists as well as to add to the natural or historical attractions that Betong could offer.

“Our culture is a unifying factor for all of us and with other Malaysians. Let us protect it against the ravages of time,” advised Uggah, who is also the Bukit Saban assemblyman.

The hall is packed with contingent members participating in the annual procession.
Nicholas Dadu pouring the ‘Ai Lua Kenyalang tuak’ with Aji Mikai to offer to the distinguished guests.

About 1,300 participants from 26 contingents took part in the annual procession over a distance of two kilometres as part of the divisional Gawai carnival.

It was believed to be the first Gawai procession in the state as part of the coming Gawai Dayak celebration on June 1.

Betong member of parliament (MP) Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat, Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap, a political secretary to the Chief Minister, Dr Richard Rapu, and Betong Resident Friday Belik were among those present.

SMK St Augustine emerged as the best contingent for the third time to keep the procession challenge trophy. The team received RM10,000 from Uggah at the end of the function. — DayakDaily