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Famous Gawai songs from Sarawak

Gawai songs making huge impact with diverse melodies and culture

Over the years they have been an increase in famous Gawai songs from Sarawak with many coming with interesting and a diverse set of melodies.

If you have not known, Gawai Dayak is a major celebration not only in Kuching, but throughout Borneo Island which is the home of Dayaks which is made up of many sub-ethnic groups.

While the celebration was previously aimed to celebate good harvest (which makes Gawai a harvest celebration), over the years, the celebrations has turned into a more family oriented celebrations with cultural pride of those from Borneo at its peak.

With the improvement of technology as well as talent, songs related to Gawai have also seen vast improvements as well.  The expansion and availability of Sarawak’s very own TV station, TVS has further elevated the celebrations to be more recognized as well.

Famous Gawai songs from Sarawak

That said, here are some Gawai song favourites for 2024.

Happy Gawai Kaamatan by Debra Sia and Ramles Walter

Perhaps one of my personal favourite is this song which was co-produced by Pepsi and TVS. A song or merriment and unity of both Gawai and Kaamatan (which is the Kadan-Dusun harvest festival).  Probably one of the best Gawai-Kaamatan songs every produced to date.

Bejugit Betanda Menari by Alena Murang and Velvet Aduk

Bejugit Betanda Menari is another song which celebrates both Gawai and Kaamatan, which is also as good and catchy this time around.  Like Happy Gawai Kaamatan, it represents the new era of music which combines both Sabah and Sarawak culture.

Rami Ooha by XIBO All Stars

Rami Oohhaa combines nemerous local artist which have been in the music scene for quite sometime. It features a refreshed styled music video, while retaining that typical joget-Dayak style which is easy to enjoy.

Gawai Kaamatan by Karen and Cyntia

This song is probably one of the pioneer songs for Kaamatan and Gawai, and its easy on the ear with a good mix of languages from both Sabah and Sarawak.  It also heavily Sabah’s song tune and the sape.

Aram Begawai by Ramles Walter

Ramles has quite a number of local hits, but Aram Begawai is directly related to Gawai and I think was the one song that propelled him to fame.

Anang Malu by Nick

While Nick or better known as Global Gibbon, did release a new Gawai single for 2024. I personally favoured his maiden hit, Anang Malu which hits the right joyous cords for a good dance and sing-a-long.

Joget Ngansar ke Kaki by Betty (cover by Bella)

While the original song was popular some 17 -18 years ago, this cover has made its rounds on TikTok and is just fitting for those wanting to hit the dance floor for Gawai.

Berami Begawai by Marina Jara

Another very typical Gawai track is presented by Marina Jara which is popular among her fans.

Gawai ons by XIBO artist

This is a Gawai song is probably one of the few with rap inside it. I think some will love it, while some might find it rather odd. Either way, it’s still a good song to enjoy this Gawai.

Other famouse Gawai songs

You may have noticed some popular and famous Gawai songs are missing in the list above, but that’s largely because they aren’t exactly Gawai related songs, but rather popular Dayak songs.

These songs include;

  • Bekikis Bulu Betis
  • Kampung Love
  • Mr Sanuh
  • Endena
  • Original Sabahan
  • Anak Kampung
  • Tok Tok Siok
  • Bujang Sarawak
  • Aram Meh

The list is actually longer and likely to grow, but that’s what I could list for now. Anyway, Happy Gawai, and Happy Kaamatan!

Learn more about Gawai Dayak here, or check out traditional Dayak costumes you can buy here.

 

Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.

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