Category Archives: Articles


The Bidayuh Debate “Tenge Bidayuh” 2015 Report


The Bidayuh Debate 2015 Report | DBNA (DAYAK BIDAYUH NATIONAL ASSOCIATION) Sunday, 13th September 2015, the first ever “Tenge Bidayuh” or the Bidayuh debate competition,  was carried out at Awah Tun Abdul Razak Longhouse in Kampung Piching, Serian.…

Final Phase of the DBNA-BGA Education and Career Guidance Fair 2016 today

The education committee of the Dayak ducation National Association and Bidayuh Graduates Association (DBNA-BGA) is having the final phase of the DBNA-BGA Education and Career Guidance Fair 2016.  The event today will take place concurrently at two different locations – Serian Community Hall, Serian and SMK Sematan, Lundu. READ MORE.

Bidayuh Youth Symposium 2015 (Agenda & Programme)

For more information regarding Bidayuh Youth Symposium 2015, please Click Here.


Merdeka Day Celebration, Sematan

Sematan Kuching

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the Malaysia Day celebration in Sematan this year gave hope of a brighter future for the rural people of the state.

He said that for the first time since Sept 16, 1963, the celebration was held in a small place like Sematan.The function was attended by about 10,000 visitors and participants from government and private sectors.

“We have given additional allocation and would give more for rural development in this state. Focus on rural development is not something new to Sarawak because all this while 70 per cent of the state budget allocation has been for development and much of it in the rural areas.

“This does not happen in the other states where 30 per cent of the budget is for development and 70 per cent for operating expenditure,” he said in a post today on his official Facebook account.

The Sarawak-level Malaysia Day celebration was held yesterday in Sematan, which is located in the Tanjung Datu state constituency, some 107km from Kuching.

Adenan, who is the state assemblyman for Tanjung Datu, said the stretch of the Pan Borneo Highway from Sematan to Telok Melano, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Tuesday, paved the way for travel by road from Sematan to Lawas after a wait of over 50 years.

“It is a stretch that will intensify the opening up of rural areas along the alignment from Sematan to Lawas.

“The highway is not just a link between one place and another, but will be a catalyst for development along the alignment,” he

In the same post, Adenan said the Malaysia Agreement and Constitution gave autonomy to Sarawak and Sabah in several areas, such as immigration and forestry.

He said some of the powers were still vested with Sarawak, but some powers were also in the hands of the federal government.

“Some of these powers overlap, such as those pertaining to the JKR (Public Works Department), welfare, environment. For the overlapping powers, we want devolution of power from the federal to the state to facilitate and expedite decision-making.

“The people of Sarawak know better the needs of Sarawak and how to implement them,” he said.

Adenan stressed that the demands by Sarawak must not be misinterpreted as a move to secede from Malaysia.

“Malaysia has helped Sarawak in times of need and has continued to assist in matters such as education and security. We remain in Malaysia.

“Malaysia once, Malaysia now and Malaysia forever. Selamat Hari Malaysia!” he said.

By: Joseph Beron


‘Empowering Youth for Employment’ Seminar for the Bidayuh Youth

‘Empowering Youth for Employment’ Seminar for the Bidayuh Youth

On 12th September 2015 (Saturday), a one-day career guidance seminar, was organized by the DBNA-BGA Human Resource (HR) subcommittee for the Bidayuh youths at the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters at Jalan Kompang. The event was officiated by YB Tuan Anthony Nogeh Gumbek, a member of the parliament for P.192 Mas Gading and a Federal Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries. It was witnessed by Boniface Anat Litis, the Deputy President of DBNA, Dr. Clarence Jerry – the DBNA Assistant Treasurer-General, the Chairman of the DBNA-BGA Education Subcommittee and advisor for the seminar, Rayan Narong, the Organizing Chairman and the Chairman of the DBNA-BGA HR subcommittee, and Associate Professor Dr. Ahi Sarok, the President of Bidayuh Graduate Association and Co-Chairman of the DBNA-BGA Education subcommittee. Also present at the opening ceremony were Joseph Jindy, the Vice-President of DBNA, Datuk Peter Nyombek, a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC), and John Riba, the Deputy CEO of SOCSO Malaysia.

The Bidayuh Community Outreach Program 2015 in SK Kujang Mawang, Serian

On 8th May 2015, the Bidayuh Community Outreach Program 2015 was successfully carried out in SK Kujang Mawang, Serian. The program, a collaboration between the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), Institute of Teacher Education Batu Lintang Campus (IPGKBL), Institute of Teacher Education Campus Rajang (IPGKR) ALUMNI and SMK Tebakang ALUMNI, was the first of its kind which gave an opportunity for lecturers and association members involved to share experiences and knowledge for a common cause – to motivate participating parents and their children to prioritise education in their future endeavour.



CHIEF  MINISTER  Datuk  Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem made the announcement at the Pesta Birumuh 2015 held at Serian Mini Stadium, which was met with rapturous applause and cheers by the audience who had anticipated the good news.

He said Serian’s elevation into the 12th division is well deserved by the people of Serian particularly the Bidayuhs who make up the majority.

“The date 11th April 2015 is a historic day for Serian because it will be a division.About 10,000 people from all walk of life turn up to watch the historical event.

Bidayuh Beauty Peagant (Dayung Sangon) Competition 2014

Gawai Dayak used to be a very special festival celebrated by the Dayak communities from Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu ,Murut,Kelabit ethnic in Sarawak. The Festival to the dayaks is specially to celeberate the the products especially padi from the farm at the end of the farming season. In conjunction with festival, the Bidayuh working committee was formed to organized Bidayuh Beauty Pageant for 2014 (Dayung Sangon Gawai beauty Pageant).

Gawai Dayak, Festival of a bountiful harvest

The annual festival of Gawai Dayak is celebrated by all Dayak in Sarawak after the end of Paddy Harvesting. It is the celebration of a bountiful harvest. This is the day where everyone in the villages will prepare a feast.

The Dayaks of Sarawak celebrate the Gawai Festival on 1st June every year. Gawai Festival is celebrated where the Dayaks normally visit/’ngabang’ friends and families on this day.

The manner of festivity varies from place to place but usually the necessary preparation starts early. Tuak (rice wine) is brewed (at least one month before the celebration) and traditional delicacies like penganan (cakes from rice flour, sugar and coconut milk) are prepared few days before the celebration. As the big day approaches, everyone will be busy with general cleaning and preparing food and cakes. On Gawai Festival Eve, glutinous rice is steamed in bamboo (pogang or lemang). A visit to clean the graveyard is also conducted and offerings offered to the dead.

The celebration usually begins on the evening of 31st May. This year Kampung Grogo will kick off the gawai celebration at the ‘Boli Gawea’. Dr Patau Rubis and his Kampung Grogo team of celebrants, one HIGH Priest, One Chief Priestess, three Priestesses and himself as the Priest will be busy the whole month of June and maybe first week of July because they are being booked by three villages already and maybe the fourth one later on. 1st June will be the NGUGUOH which is expected to be in the early hours of the 2nd June. The River ceremony will be in the afternoon of the 31st May around 3-4 pm.

For those who have not witness these celebration, it is advised that they do go and witness it for themselves because this ritual might be the last time we could witness the real life affairs of ‘Nguguoh’, which is a Pagan ritual done only in a few villages in Bau, in the occasion of ‘Gawea Podi’, or in general terms, Gawai.

Due to old age and conversion to other religions, the ritual of gawai is getting less performed. According to the elders, there’s only a few ‘tua gawea’ (leader of the ritual) around and they are being booked by villages who wish to do the ritual one year in advance. It is a very tiring process so most of these priests who are very old can’t manage it alone.

The climax of gawai is the ‘Nguguoh’, in which the ‘tua gawea’ and the elders (in white and red colourful tawuob), together with a group of ‘Dayung Borih’ (priestesses), wearing colourful ‘sipiah’, embroidered black tunics and skirts of rich brocade fabrics with traditional motifs, summons the rice goddess to feast upon the offerings that had been prepared, and to accept the thanks of the people for a good harvest. It is done around an altar, which is locally known as ‘bawal’. The event only begins at the wee hours in the morning and ends sometimes at 4.30am, which also marks the end of Gawai.

While most modern Bidayuh kampungs tend to celebrate Gawai the modern way nowadays, which is with live band performances, dancing (mejeng), and beauty pageants (Kumang Gawai), Kpg Grogo and a few other villages around Bau town have somewhat retained this aged pagan ritual despite most villages nearby already being unable to do so. The whole ritual which stands out the most during Gawai makes the village community somewhat proud of their Bidayuh roots.

Dayak Bidayuh Nasional Association (DBNA) could recreate the Gawai as a show just like other races in Sarawak. Though it is a dying event, DBNA under her leadership of Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and his charge still want it to go on at their headquarters at Jalan Kumpang in Kuching. The atmosphere might not be the same but that’s the least DBNA could do for this dying ceremony. Documentation of it in multimedia and printed materials will some how helps on the understanding of Gawai for our future generation.

As for the Iban communities at Rumah Niru Dandi at Bintangor, it starts with a ceremonial rite called Muai Antu Rua (to cast away the spirit of greed), signifying the non-interference of the spirit of bad luck in the festivity. A few elders and men each dragging a chapan (winnowing basket) will pass each family’s room. Every family will throw some unwanted article into the basket. The unwanted articles will be tossed to the ground from the end of the longhouse for the spirit of bad luck.

Around 6 pm or as the sun sets, offering (known as miring) rite will take place. Before the ceremony, ritual music (gendang rayah) is performed. The Feast Chief thanks the gods for the good harvest, and asks for guidance, blessings and long life as he waves a cockerel over the offerings. He then sacrifices the cockerel and a little blood is used together with the offerings.

Once the offering ceremony is done, dinner is then served at the ruai. Just before midnight, a procession up and down the ruai seven times called Ngalu Petara (welcoming the spirit god) is performed. During this procession, a beauty pageant to choose the festival’s queen and king (Kumang & Keling Gawai) is sometimes conducted. Meanwhile, drinks, traditional cakes and delicacies are served.

At midnight, the gong is beaten to call the celebrants to attention. The longhouse Chief (tuai rumah) or Gawai Festival Chief will lead everyone to drink the Ai Pengayu (normally tuak for long life) and at the same time wish each other “gayu-guru, gerai-nyamai” (long life, health and prosperity). The celebration now turns merrier and less formal. Some will dance to the traditional music played; others will sing the pantun (poems).

In urban areas, Dayaks will organise gatherings at community centres or restaurants to celebrate the evening.

Other activities that may follow the next few days include: cock-fighting matches, and blowpipe and ngajat competitions. On this day, 1st June, homes of the Dayaks are open to visitors and guests.

Traditionally, when guests arrive at a longhouse, they are given the ai tiki as a welcome. From time to time, guests are served tuak. This would be called nyibur temuai which literally means “watering of guests”.

Christian Dayaks normally attend a church mass service to thank God for the good harvest.

Gawai Dayak celebrations may last for several days and to that ‘We wish all Dayak ‘Selamat Hari Gawai, ‘Slamat onu gawea, Tara Tara Tara Ooooooooha!’ ‘Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai, lantang senang nguan menua’.