No to ritual of bathing babies in streams, cockfights and telematches during Gawai

Gawai Dayak parade. Image via Flickr

By John Isaac

THE Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) today said house visits, weddings, thanksgiving, engagements, anniversaries and inter-zone travel are totally banned during the Gawai Dayak celebration on June 1 and 2 under the standard operating procedure (SOP) introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The committee also said social activities that would encourage people to gather were not allowed, such as the ritual of bathing babies in streams, cockfights and telematches.

It said the ban on these activities applies to all areas under an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) and conditional movement control order (CMCO).

“However, the exception is a family-only gathering which is allowed on the eve of Gawai,” SDMC said in a statement reported by Malay Mail.

“If it is in a longhouse setting in an EMCO area, the family must be confined to their own ‘bilek’, with no other residents of the longhouse invited.”

As for Gawai eve gatherings in longhouses in a CMCO area, SDMC said there cannot be more than 20 people present.

It said the location of the gathering must be decided and fixed by the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK).

It added that the delivery of piring (offerings) to memorial poles is allowed but must be limited to 20 people.

SDMC reminded all the JKKKs to monitor and ensure that the Gawai SOPs are strictly adhered to during longhouse celebrations.

Yesterday, Sarawak recorded 608 new daily Covid-19 infections along with two fatalities, bringing the state’s death toll to 293 since the start of the pandemic.