The Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) decided to host a Gawai celebration of sorts at its newly built hall near Jln. Ong Tiang Swee.
When? 1st June, 2011.
Now how dumb is that?
There you are dragging all the Dayaks involved to the city, preparing this ‘festival’ for the benefit of a few, depriving them of time to spend with their families at the kampung and the Gawai mood. Taib doesn’t celebrate Gawai so it doesn’t matter to him. Some of my relatives had to go all the way down to Kuching from Serian, on Gawai itself until close to midnight to perform etc.
Why can’t they do it say a week after Gawai, maybe a weekend when many have returned? Like Gawai REDEEM in Singai, a big festival held in the middle of June.
Which brings us to another matter. Dayak and politics.
Culture and politics should be separate. But the reality is that DBNA, supposedly to uphold, promote and help the Bidayuh are so entwined with politics, it’s survival and activities depends solely on the Government. How many programs have been launched to promote the Bidayuh culture and language among its youth? How many youths even know what the word ‘Bidayuh’ means?
Even I speak in Bidayuh mixed with words that aren’t even Bidayuh to begin with like nyadong (Iban) and bayam (Malay).
They are too complacent, and populated with old people whose ideas are no longer relevant. This is too hard, that’s impossible. Bah! If you check out their website, they have no new programmes and their Literature section has 3 articles. The man that did research on the origins of the Bidayuh and it’s migration patterns, the kampungs and it’s movement, has been done, by a Chinese. Now how embarassing is that? Where are all the Bidayuh Graduates? What’s the point of a Bidayuh Graduates Association? I don’t even know what it’s for. And then when they read the books he published they scorn and ridicule it, saying what does a Chinese know? They don’t even want to make an effort to do anything about it and casually criticize someone who does just because he is not one of them. (Like how the Orang Ulu make fun of a non-Dayak playing sape’. Excuse me, he can, what about you?)
Within the DBNA itself there are factions, where certain groups dominate. The Bukar Sadong group is grossly underrepresented, with the Jagoi Singai Biatah group dominating proceedings and are adamant with using their own dialects. How’s that for equality?
Outreach and charity programmes are mostly done by Christian groups and other NGOs. It’s time the Bidayuh youths stepped up and take control. We should create an entity that is dynamic, active and passionate.
Who wants in?