D. P. Dash

गहना कर्मणो गतिः (gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ) | କର୍ମର ଗତି ବଡ଼ ଗହନ ଅଟେ | complex are the ways of action (Gītā, chap. 4, ver. 17)

Professor D. P. Dash
research educator, academic editor, slow professor ...
professor.dpdash[at]gmail.com | WhatsApp +91 99378 28816

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Gawai 2012 in Lawas: Another Name-Changing Experience

From David Panai to David Panai Satu

This time, I spent my Gawai holidays (1-2 Jun 2012) in Lawas, Sarawak. The main attraction was to experience Gawai in the Lun Bawang way. It was once again my Lun Bawang student, Elisha, who created this interest in me and facilitated my travel from Kuching to Lawas, via Kota Kinabalu. I felt very comfortable in the small-city environment of Lawas. I was made to feel very welcome by Elisha's family. In the true Lun Bawang tradition, I was symbolically adopted into the family, when I inherited the family name Satu, in the presence of Elisha's paternal grandparents. Thus, I became David Panai Satu and Elisha became my nephew. In the process, I acquired a new father, mother, brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews! At one point, I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of this inclusion, I just couldn't control my tears . . .

Gawai in Lawas was a community fiesta, in which religion, culture, and society came together in mutually reinforcing ways. Prayers, handicraft, costumes, community sports, music, dance, traditional food, and messages of Lun Bawang unity were what I chiefly experienced during my short stay there.

PS: Here is the story of how DP became David Panai in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Professor Dash!

    Wish you a Happy Teacher's Day! I remember some of the good discussions in the RTS@XIMB.

    Prof. Krishna Priya
    PhD, English and Communication
    Visiting Faculty, International Management Institute, Bhubaneswar