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Use Gawai Dayak to enhance unity, Kenyah community told

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Anyi (third left) joining in a paddy harvesting ceremony to symbolically launch the 3rd Majlis Selamat Lepa Ajau organised by Peng Lepo Abong, Long Julan Pelutan on Saturday. Also seen are Dennis (third right) and James (fourth right).

MIRI: Baram MP Anyi Ngau has advised members of the Kenyah community to take the Gawai Dayak or Lepa Ajau in their native language as an opportunity to enhance unity and solidarity among themselves.

Anyi noted that Gawai Dayak is a unique festival as it is not only an occasion of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest but also serves as platform to bring the people of various races and religions in Sarawak to come together in an atmosphere of celebration and peace.

“For us the Orang Ulu community, like the Kenyahs, the spirit and concept is the same as Gawai Dayak celebrated by the Ibans and Bidayuhs.

“Through this Lepa Ajau, we can promote the spirit of unity besides being a nation-building platform.

“I am happy that the Orang Ulu community took the initiative to organise this event in urban areas,” he said during the ‘Majlis Selamat Lepa Ajau Ke-3’ organised by Peng Lepo Abong, Long Julan Pelutan that was held at a hotel here on Saturday.

He also reminded members of the Orang Ulu community to turn the festival into an opportunity for them to express their gratitude for the peace, harmony and stability that they have been enjoying until today.

“We are lucky to be able to live in a peaceful atmosphere.

“I hope the mutual respect and tolerance among us will continue to prevail as it is a symbol of unity in Sarawak,” he emphasised.

At the same time, Anyi hoped to see the Orang Ulu community preserve their heritage and traditions, especially among the younger generation.

The grand traditional affair was made merrier by various cultural performances with the highlight being the ‘Pueh Lepa Ajau’ led by Penghulu Jalong Tanyit.

At the event, Anyi distributed tokens of appreciation to senior citizens of Lepo Abong, Long Julan Pelutan.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, organising chairman Clement Ibau, Long Julan Pelutan chief James Gau Mato, Penghulu Theodarius Lenjau Kulleh and representatives from several Kenyah villages and longhouses including Long Tap, Long Tebanyi, Long San, Long Selatong Dikan, Long Anap and Long Selatong Tepalit were among those present.

[Source: “Use Gawai Dayak to enhance unity, Kenyah community told” published by BorneoPost Online]

Photo Credits: BorneoPost Online

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