(All pictures courtesy of Sarikei blogger Pejalai)
Gawai on 1st June marks the end of the rice harvest. Urban folks return to their ancestral longhouses to participate in rituals. Before Gawai, the ladies brewed tuak, the potent rice wine and prepared traditional gourmet for the big feast and dancing. It is also a traditional time for weddings and betrothals. Gawai is the time to understand traditional longhouse life and witness ceremonies with the women dressed up in lovely costumes.
Do you have to drink all the strong tuak served by the host? Do you have to bring a gift when visiting Iban longhouses for Gawai? What is that mee hoon lookalike (sarang semut) made of? Blogger Pejalai sheds some light on Gawai delicacies & etiquette here. For novices, you better start by visiting a shorter longhouse versus say a 28-family longhouse where each door welcomes you with abundant food & tuak. Party on!