We are fortunate again this that we can celebrate another Gawea season in peace and harmony. To me, we have won in every way and in every sense for once again we can congratulate ourselves for being able to celebrate another festival in good health, though politically we may consider that we lost. But have we really lost in our struggle to build a better community and family? Not if you know what I am still doing and hoping for our nation.
The man in the middle of the picture below is my Teacher and master in the Bidayuh Adat. I am learning from him and the others to be a Bidayuh Priest. There is much to be learned of the Bidayuh ways and what I would like to term as TOPAISM. This term comes from the word TOPA who is the Almighty of the Bidayuh people for as long as the Bible story of God, Allah and the others. All our ceremonies which if done once a year is good enough for Him to give us the blessings we need for the whole year.
Just yesterday, I visited a family friends and friend. The wife quickly went to the kitchen when I arrived. We just talked about the Adat and he lamented at his experience about our Adat and the new religion which promises a lot for our people. Soon after i was served rice and a bowl of wild boar meat which they just caught the day before. This time they got two but there were ten of them hunting. What is interesting is that this bounty of the jungle was foretold whenthey did a ritual not so long before they were rewarded. It is the third time they were able to catch wild boar in the area. Previous to this they caught one big one, he said.
Yet all this was known to them through a sign given to them at the ceremony. This village will celebrate in their own small way on the first of June as well. It is called Kampong Puak, Krokong, Bau District. I was born on a farm near this village which is about half an hour walk on a jungle footpath, a place called POTU. It was one of happiest moment in life to listen to him lamenting about why we the Bidayuh do not want to know about our roots and traditions but is ready to “pay others every week for their philosophy” which to him for the Ten Commandments when the Bidayuh had more than ten.
Have a very happy reflecting who we are during this Gawea Season. I wish everyone good health, peace and Happiness. Many may called me Pagan or Athiest but Iam still proud of the ways of TOPA taught to by my mother, the Chief Priestess of my village. Till no great books which I have read can give me the confidence in life compared to what my own parents had given me.
Congratulations, Have a blessed Holidays.