BAU: The staging of the World Rainforest Music Festival from June 20-22 in Damai is not likely to affect the upcoming five-day Redeems Gawai Dayak Carnival which will begin tomorrow (June 20) at the Redeems Centre, Kampung Opar, Bau, said Redeems chairman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie.

Nansian who is Sarawak’s assistant minister for community and industrial development said Redeems Gawai has its own followers and the organisers of the event are confident that the carnival will receive bigger response this time around.

“Those following the World Rainforest Music Festival is a different type of crowd while Redeems Gawai has its own crowd. Moreover it is two different types of events and is being held at two different places,” said Nansian who is also the working chairman of the Redeems Gawai Dayak Carnival, at a press conference today.

Another crowd pulling factor to the Redeems Gawai Dayak Carnival is that entry to the event is free while the World Rainforest Music Festival is ticketed, he added.

He said visitors to the Redeems Gawai Dayak Carnival, especially the young generation would have a chance to see and experience how the Gawai rituals were performed during the olden days as well as the Bidayuh culture in the longhouse.

“Visitors will also have an opportunity to taste authentic Bidayuh cuisine while being entertained with music, cultural shows and beauty pageants,” he said.

He said this year a 12-door longhouse was build to welcome visitors to the Gawai open house, adding that each village from the Singhai area in Bau will be allocated with a room to welcome their guests.

“The highlight of the event will be the cultural performance, ‘Simutur’ by the cultural troupe from Kampung Suba, Bau at the 12-door longhouse and the beauty pageant,” said Nansian.

He said Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, the guest of honour, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and their wives would attend the Gawai dinner at the Redeems Centre, Kampung Apar, Bau on June 24.

At the dinner, Abdul Taib is expected to unveil the proposed RM8 million Redeems Cultural Centre.

“The carnival is aimed at showcasing the rich authentic Dayak Bidayuh culture, tradition, heritage and food, promote tourism in rural areas and enhance goodwill among the races,” said Nansian. -- Bernama.