Rainforest World Music Festival 2019

So yes, after having the a Rainforest World Music Festival on my wishlist for the longest time ever, Sarawak Tourism Board finally grant me my wish…

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For a normally unexcitable person, I was practically almost jumping up and down when my flight itinerary and concert itinerary and all arrived in my email…

I quickly packed my bags and was on the plane to Kuching, Sarawak and whisked to the Damai Beach Resort upon arrival at the Kuching International Airport…

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A few days later, I am feeling a sense of loss, and a little blue.. You see.. It was such an amazing feeling and experience being among so many people from all different parts of the world, with different coloured skin, different ethnicities and backgrounds – Both performers and non-performers for four days, both at the hotel where we made our temporary ‘home’ and at the village…

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Everyone is beautiful, friendly and all there for the universal language… Music..

It was a spectacular… Mind blowing.. And unforgettable experience… You have to be there to feel it… It makes you feel so alive..

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Anyway just for those of you who have not heard of the Rainforest World Music Festival.. Which rock have you been hiding under.. This renowned Rainforest World Music Festival has marked its 22nd year, and is held at the picturesque Sarawak Cultural Village at the foot of the majestic Mount Santubong… offers a smorgasbord of every different kind of music from all over the world at the five stages of the RWMF 2019, which is the Theatre Stage, Big Tent, Indigenous Stage and the two main stages where the crowd flock to after the sun goes down.. The Tree Stage and Jungle Stage….

There are also mini sessions /workshops such for those who are curious about or those who are keen to know more about Borneo’s unique musical instrument, which is the Sape, and Percussion; and interesting sessions on harvest festivals to give you an insight of the unique way of life of the Indigenous tribes of Sarawak… 

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There are also Cultural Snippets to give you an insight and understanding of the dressing styles recipes and so on of various tribes found in Sarawak…

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For those who enjoy learning or even purchasing traditional arts and crafts, there was the Rainforest World Crafts Bazaar which sold a lot of beaded jewellery, tribal designed clothing, handmade soaps, woodcarving, batik painting, handwoven bags and so on…

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For all those who love Lifestyle and Wellness, there were quite a lot of activities going on at the Dewan Lagenda, Big Tent and Iban Longhouse from Muay Thai, Line Dance, Yoga, Dances, Shadow Boxing, Pilates, Zumba and so on..

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Naturally there are also go green initiatives by the Trienekens and Biji-Biji; I cannot help but get impressed by Spativate and their #urbins which made some recycling bins so pretty…. So pretty it seemed like a shame to use them.. Hahah..

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There were also plenty of other activities and of course… Plenty of yummy food to tempt your appetite…

And not forgetting for those whose energy levels keep on going and going and going like an energizer bunny or those who loves partying into the wee hours of the morning… There was a DJ After Party Stage… Unfortunately, yours truly was underaged, hahaha .. Or perhaps too old for it now….

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One of my favourite stages was of course the Indigenous Stage, which was at the Lakeside of the Malay House.. Although it was just a small stage, the performers here were all by indigenous communities from around the world…

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I had a fun time catching Sape performances by various Sarawak and Kalimantan tribes such as Warisan Sape, Suk Binie’, At Adau; Malay drums by Darmas; as well as the mesmerising Dance of the Nagas by Sangtam Naga of Nagaland, a small state in North East India; Gnawa Dance by Mehdi Nassouli of Morocco and Rapa Nui Dance by Bafochi from the Easter Islands near Chile…

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Seriously.. I was in love with the Ballet Folcloric de Chile by Bafochi… Think Moana.. Since the dance are a mix of Polynesian origins with ancestral legends dedicated to the gods, nature and warriors… It was also of course due to the face the group was made up of gorgeous girls and handsome young men rolling their hips etc barely dressed in beautiful island and warrior clothing., which everyone (girls, guys, gays and in between or whatsoever) practically swooned and screamed when they performed on the Jungle Stage…

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The night certainly came alive at both the Tree Stage and Jungle Stage, with amazing performances on the first day by Spirit of the Hornbill (Kalimantan), Olga Cerpa Y Mestisay (Canary Islands), Ballet Folcloric de Chile Bafochi (Easter Islands), Rajery (Madagascar), Otavo Yo (Russia), Suk Binie’ (Sarawak) and Kila (Ireland)

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The second day highlighted acts such as Kemada (Sarawak), San Salvador (France) Darmas (Malaysia), Bafochi (Easter Islands), Macka B (UK/Jamaica), Trad. Attack (Estonia) and La Chiva Gantiva (Columbia)

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And the final day highlighted a beautiful marriage of cultures between East and West with Kila and Oki (Ireland and Japan).. Seriously it was just amazing how Irish music and Japanese music blended so well…

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…. I was also truly in love and mesmerized by Crazy Horse by Duplessy and the Violins of the World…I think it was such a beautiful coming together of cultures.. The members were each from China, Mongolia, France and Sweden and the music was created by the erhu, khuuchir, nyckelharpa and guitar just amazingly mind blowing..

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Then there was a great performance by At Adau (Sarawak)- a 6 member group that combines sape lute tunes from the Orang Ulu, traditional percussion from the Bidayuh and Iban; followed by Mehdi Nassouli (Morrocco), Tabanka (Cape Verde) and the finale…

And its all over now.. More please… More..(but I guess we will have to wait for next year), I am feeling so lost now… It sure was so much fun seeing the performers on stage and in the hotel where we were staying and interacting with them and learning a thing or two about their countries..

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So… Now that I have done reminiscing my moments at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2019 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, Tashi Delek!!! (something I learnt from Sonam Dorji, the master drangyen from Druk Folk Musician of Bhutan)

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Thanks so much Rainforest World Music Festival 2019 and Sarawak Tourism Board for having me and to Damai Beach Resort for being my home for the past 5 days…

For more info on the Rainforest World Music Festival, do check out https://rwmf.net

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