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Byline: Peter Sibon
SOME 50 years ago, Gawai Dayak would double as a festival of love. Bidayuh bachelors would search for a maiden to take as their life partners in between the merry-making.
Bei Aled - one of the last few Bidayuh men who could chant old Gawai Dayak rhymes called birayun to serenade the girls - said back then, it was not uncommon for a young man to a marry a girl at the end of the three-night Gawai Dayak.
"Gawai Dayak was then not just about celebrating a bountiful harvest but also to provide an opportunity for young men to find their mates and start a new life through courtship, or nyagam." He said Gawai Dayak would start at 8pm and would last until the next morning.
"A boy …