17/06/2023 08:23 PM

KUCHING, June 17 (Bernama) -- The parade to mark the Gawai Dayak celebration known as ‘Nti Daun’ becomes the platform to highlight the ‘Segulai Sejalai’ (Together in Unity) concept portrayed by the multiethnic and multicultural society in Sarawak.

Clad in a traditional costume resembling the Iban warrior, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg led the 1.2-kilometre procession today involving 90 contingents of 3,000 participants donning traditional costumes of the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu people.

He was accompanied by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who is also the adviser of the Sarawak Gawai Dayak 2023 celebration working committee from the grounds of the Tun Jugah Building to the Darul Hana Bridge, Kuching Waterfront.

Tourists were seen capturing the excitement of the Gawai Dayak celebration that is unique to the state as well as dancers in colourful traditional attire during the live cultural performances.

A retired nurse from Melaka who is in Sarawak to attend a reunion with her former colleagues Zaharah Mohamad Hassan, 63, said she did not know about the parade and was happy that she could watch it for the first time.

"I am amazed by the spirit of unity in this state," she told Bernama.

'Niti Daun' was held for the first time in 1993 and was last organised in 2018.  This year’s parade was also held in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Sarawak's independence.

A French tourist, Pierre Cornet, 48 said ‘Nti Daun’ introduced him to the Bornean culture and music, adding he would love to come back again next year.

“This is my second time in Kuching but I never had the chance to experience such an event, so today is my lucky day because I just arrived in Kuching a few hours ago and I love photography so this is a good opportunity for me to take great photos,” he said.

Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said the event should be organised annually in conjunction with the Gawai Dayak festival.

“Nti Daun is a successful result of unity and a good platform, especially for Sarawak. We cannot organise such an event if we are not on good terms with other races," he told reporters when met at the event.