Last-minute shoppers head to markets

Last-minute shoppers throng Tamu Emart in Miri.

MIRI: The markets here still seemed lively on the eve of Gawai Dayak, despite the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) still in force.

A visit to Tamu Emart yesterday saw many people buying bamboo tubes, freshly-grated coconut and
other produce to make the traditional delicacies for the celebration.

“Every year, my family would host Gawai open house in that it’s one of those few times that we would get together. Our most popular dishes would be chicken or fish ‘pansuh’ and ‘lemang’ (both cooked in bamboos).

“Although we are not having any open house this year, we are still cooking all these dishes, but in smaller quantities for our family members at home.

“This is the time for merry-making and thanksgiving, so one can just cook simple dishes and enjoy them with family,” said a shopper, who wanted to be known only as Sinai.

Meanwhile, a trader selling fresh vegetables and bamboo tubes at Tamu Emart said although there were many
people coming in, business had been as good as in previous years.

“In the past, people would cook a lot for open house gatherings, so they would buy more items especially bamboo tubes to cook the ‘pansuh’. I would start selling bamboo tubes a few days before Gawai and they used to sell out very fast.

“This year, it’s a bit slow. People are still buying stuff, but only in small quantities as they are just cooking for their own families. Those who sell ‘lemang’ cut their own bamboos from the jungle – they usually don’t buy from us here,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, a long queue was seen at a stall selling grated coconut and coconut milk – the key ingredients in many local dishes including the ever-popular ‘lemang’.

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