KUCHING: Visit Sarawak Year 2019 promotional activities will be the pinnacle of this year’s state level Gawai Dayak celebrations to be hosted by the Bidayuh community.

Several villages would showcase authentic Gawai events and exhibit the community’s unique Gawai-related traditions.

The events would be held at Annah Rais on May 31 for the Padawan/Penrissen area, Pueh (Lundu) on June 2, Serikin (Bau) on June 21 and Pichin (Serian) on June 29.

It is expected that the events would become tourist attractions and would generate business opportunities for homestay operators in the respective areas.

“The 2019 state-level Gawai Dayak will be something different,” said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong when chairing the second meeting of the celebration’s working committee on Friday night.

Also present at the meeting were Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben, political secretary to the chief minister Dr Simon Sinang Bada, Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, Federation of Orang Ulu Associations of Sarawak, Malaysia (Forum) deputy president Ipoi Datan and Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF) manager Datin Senorita Linang.

According to Manyin, A Gawai Dayak dinner will be held at Imperial Hotel Kuching on June 15 where Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib are expected to attend.

Adding to the guest list would be Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Ministers and Cabinet ministers.

A Gawai Dayak bazaar and exhibition at the Imperial Hotel Kuching will commence before the dinner.

“There will be a traditional welcome for the guests of honour.  The dinner will also see performances from local singers representing Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu, a parade of kumangs and kelings from the respective communities and a cultural showcase based on this year’s theme of “Together We Move Forward”,” he said.

He also mentioned that the closing ceremony will be held on June 29, to be officiated at by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The symbolic passing of baton to next year’s host the Orang Ulu community will also be held during the dinner, he added.

The Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu communities take turns to host the annual state-level Gawai Dayak celebrations.