The Jakarta Post
Dayak men and women in a traditional ceremony (Illustration) (Shutterstock/File)
Residents of Singkawang are set to hold the Gawai Dayak Naik Dango cultural ceremony to express their gratitude to God. The event will be held at the Rumah Adat Dayak (Dayak cultural house) in South Singkawang district, Singkawang, West Kalimantan, from May 23-26
Gawai Dayak Naik Dango Singkawang chairman Ahyadi told Antara on Monday, “Naik Dango is the expression of gratitude of the Dayak people to God, as we are blessed with good harvests on our farms or rice fields.”
In the ceremony, the Dayak people will mount rice on a dango (barn).
The ritual, according to Ahyadi, must be preserved as the sacred procession was meant to express true gratitude to the creator of the universe.
Aside from the ritual, the event includes a shield-painting competition, traditional Dayak cooking competition, Dayak singing contest for children as well as a Bujang and Dara Gawai pageant.
The committee has invited the president of the National Dayak Customary Council, who is also the former governor of West Kalimantan. Several religious leaders and public figures are also scheduled to attend.
Singkawang Dayak Cultural board secretary Herkulanus said the event would be the 15th Gawai Dayak Naik Dango since Bengkayang regency was founded by the Singkawang administration. He added that the activity was in line with the needs of the community.
“In previous editions, we only did the rituals, without the festivities. This year we are trying to add the traditional elements not only for the Dayak people but the general public as well,” he added. (asw)