Irau Aco Lun Bawang 2010

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 - 1 Terawe 1 Lawe Over the past month, the Lun Bawang have  celebrated their 23rd edition of Lun Bawang Festival. As you may know, the Lawas Central Ground – a place where the festival was held more than 10 years, has been demolished for the development of the first Seri Malaysia Hotel chain in Sarawak.

So the Lun Bawang Association  have to search for alternative options and finally decided that the festival has to be organized at Lawas Town Park – a massive reduction in size compared to  the previous venue.

Despite the fact that the festival has to be “minimized”, overall it was such a success.

The theme for this edition of Pesta  Lun Bawang is “Aceh Terawe, Aceh Lawe” translated “One Vision, One Direction” in support of the Prime Minister’s 1 Malaysia Concept.

Here’s a short review of the event.

Pesta Lun Bawang Church Service

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 - Church Service at Kampung Gaya Baru
The celebration for this edition starts on the sunny Sunday of 30th May.  Since after the Lun Bawang had converted to Christianity, all the pagan ritual offering ceremonies were completely removed and replaced with a thanksgiving ceremony to be held in the church. It draws a lot of people from various region of the Lawas district to attend the ceremony and Sunday church service which was held at Kampung Gaya Baru.

Ps Pengiran Gugkang Blowing the Horn
Reverend Pengiran Gugkang has been given the honour to conduct the opening ceremony as well as delivers the word of God. In his preach, he spotlighted the current social issue in Lawas which has negatively impact the Lun Bawang especially the younger generation. He then stated that this issue is now considered to be in an alarming state.

There were too many mosquitoes that has penetrated into our homeland and they were feasting on us. Let us unite in the name of our Lord Jesus and get rid of these annoying pestilent. – Rev. Pengiran Gugkang

Cultural Nights

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 - Me on warrior stance
Though it was hard for me to move around due to an injury I’ve suffered during a football match back in Kuching, I have no choice but to use crotches to move around,  it doesn’t stop me from going around places to enjoy the festival. I’m not going back hometown to sit back at home – unlike Gawai Dayak where you’ll have your friends and families going to visit your house or ngabang – everyone is out in town.

Busak Pakui Dance Photo courtesy of Balan Berauk via Facebook

There were 3 series of cultural nights. Showcasing Lun Bawang traditional dances, performance of Lun Bawang bands, bamboo band and also a specially invited singer, and the Padan Liu Burung and Ruran Ulung beauty contest.

Cultural Night 1
Cultural Night 2
Cultural Night 3

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 Official Opening Ceremony

Ruran Ulung 2010 - Receptionist
I found something special during the opening ceremony, it’s rather unexpected, the organizer made a full use of the Padan Liu Burung and Ruran Ulung contestants as the special guest receptionist. It’s a pleasure to see these gorgeous contestants actively involved in helping the organizer to make the event to be a colourful moment.

Lun Bawang Association Kuching Branch 2010
At the same time, I was joining the Lun Bawang Association Kuching Branch in the contingency march. It was really hot day and I was cooked standing under the hot sun. I suggest that the YBs should try to shorten up their speech next time.

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 - Contingency March Participation Prize

Despite of that, all participating branch were awarded with prizes by our local YBs, namely, YB Datuk Amar Hj Awang Tengah, YB Datuk Henry Sum Agong and YB Nelson Balang Rining.

SK Long Tuma Students - Bamboo band performanceImage courtesy of Cynthia Alau Serag via Facebook

The crowds were entertained by the melodic tune of the bamboo band performance by SK Long Tuma students. It is great to see these youngsters has learned to play traditional instruments since they were still young. It is very important to instill our heritage to the younger generation so that we can preserve our tradition to the future.

Sports and Traditional Game

If we were to dream of making our festival to be more exotic, where you can see the press or even the Discovery Channel crew flocking in Lawas filming the Lun Bawang traditional heritage, we have to introduce more traditional games into the festival.

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 - Female FutsalImage courtesy of Balan Berauk via Facebook

I’m not totally against modern sports but the main idea of organizing the festival is to showcase our traditional culture and heritage. The younger generation are hungry to experience the “real” Lun Bawang Festival. We have been putting too much modern sports into the programme and neglected the importance of traditional games.

Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 - Tug of War Image courtesy of Balan Berauk via Facebook

In Pesta Lun Bawang 2010 there were only two traditional games organized – the tug-of-war and blowpipe. Do you think that is enough? I don’t think so. In my previous post, I have suggested that traditional games should be made as the festival’s main event. I received a lot of positive responses from the readers and some of you had also shared tons of bright ideas.

My Take On Pesta Lun Bawang 2010

The Lun Bawang Festival has been celebrated for over 20 years already, in my opinion it should have been a very well established event, but what I see is that the festival is now drifting into a very worrying trend.

Bamboo band competition was once a very grand programme in the festival. There were hundreds of participants representing their own village, branch or group to win the yearly title. You could also see great support from the crowds cheering for their representatives.

As for this year’s, the numbers has been greatly reduced, whereby only 3 groups that has participated – SK Long Tuma, Trusan and Sabah. Not only that, even the participation of the contingent march is in a decline. You might be scratching your scalp in disbelief and wondering what had happened. Another drawback is the lack of traditional game in the programme.

Despite of that, there were a couple of limelight during the festival too. Especially the active participation from the KL branch, they were involved in the cultural aspect of the festival – traditional dance and the traditional costume contest. Secondly is the involvement of the Ruran Ulung and Padan Liu Burung participant, cooperating with the Association as an event crew.

So what’s your take on Pesta Lun Bawang 2010?

Please share your thoughts and opinion in the comment section below on how we can improve the festival in the coming future.

“Aceh Terawe, Aceh Lawe”

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