Finally after two long years of pandemic lockdowns , festivals, expos and just about everything has been given the green light again….
And with that, yours truly here was honoured to be among some of the invited guests for the three-day Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2022 at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) recently…
It was also its 25th edition and marked a slight change with the festival being a hybrid between physical and virtual, but allowing attendees from different walks of life and other countries to attend our more traditional and cultural rich local “coachella” where the most amazing world music musicians gather, many with musical instruments we probably haven’t even heard before or seen (or even pronounce) until the festival….
The internationally acclaimed 3- day event begins at 2pm and ends about 11.30pm with multiple interesting workshops, arts and crafts exhibitions, lots of yummy food and stalls selling the best handmade crafts and such from the indigenous and local arts as well as breathtaking live performancesat a few venues around the Sarawak Cultural Village- namely Dewan Lagenda, Open Lawn/ Stage, and the Theatre Stage….
There was rain but the rain did not deter visitors but even sparked jokes like, “well.. since we are at the Rainforest festival… it should rain …” and so on….
My friends and I even manage to get “tattoo”ed by SapokHenna who gave us all tribal designed henna which was different from the norm!!!
The RWMF 2022 featured both LIVE and virtual performances by artists from various countries, including Ukraine, South Korea, China, Australia, Thailand, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, Estonia, Japan, Madagascar, the United States and of course homegrown acts
RWMF also introduced their new green initiative, named ‘ecoGreenPlanet programme’ where RM10 from the RM25 online ticket sold each will go towards planting a mangrove tree after the festival. About 4,500 mangrove trees had been secured thus far!!!! According to statistics, the most online viewers hailed from China, Austria, US, Japan and Sweden (and of course other places)….
Among the workshops offered, the sape class which was held by Persatuan Anak Seni Sape Kuching (Pusak), was definitely one of the favorites with even my friends and room mate deciding to join in to learn how to play the traditional music instrument…
The first night began with a Miring Ceremony and a breath- taking performance by the Majlis Seni Sarawak, followed by a lively performance from Jerry Kamit and friends, while Sara Heng mesmerized us on her Guzheng as well as a fusion act by Australia’s BluGuru and a breathtaking gamelan fusion performance from Balawan Batuan Gamelan fusion from Bali
The second night which fell on a Saturday was definitely a night to remember with Fauziah Gambus performing as well as Sarawak favorite homegrown “boyband” working the crowd up for one of the most memorable performance, China/Canada’s Mei Han mesmerizing us with her Zheng as well as South Korea’s Dongyang Gozupa rocking the evening
The Rainforest World Music Festival 2022 ended on Sunday night with sparks!!!!!
It started with Singapore’s Flame of the Forest performing before Sarawakian performers took centre stage, including Rining Peter Paris, Arthur Borman, Alena Murang and the youngest solo performer, 11-year-old Nikita Sarna, who also performed along with Alena during her performance, Razali Kulintangan giving up a lively showcase and ended with KL’s Bourbon Lassi rocking the night to the end….
At around 11pm, the finale began with all the performers gathering on stage cheering and dancing to mark the end of RWMF 2022.
This was followed with Alena Murang singing the last song with other performers dancing and some stage sparklers to end it all
I am thankful to be able to experience it all again and am hoping to be able to experience it again next year as well as in the future!!!!
As for virtual performances, I think I enjoyed Estonia’s Trad Attack which also performed LIVE at RWMF 2019; Ukraine’s Jurij Fedynskyj ; South Korea’s Noreumachi , a new wave music group and Japan’s Kiki who wore kimonos and played their shamisen on a boat with beautiful sakuras surronding them…..
When I asked some of my friends to name 3 of their favorite performances from the RWMF2022…..
Jaslin Puasa (actor/influencer) says – Balawan Batuan Gamelan Fusion, At Adau and Bourbon Lassi
Hasif Hamsyari (Gaya Travel writer) says – Balawan Batuan Gamelan Fusion, At Adau and Dongyang Gozupa….
Siti Mustiani ( blogger from Pontianak, Indonesia ) says – Balawan Batuan, At Adau, and Alena Murang
Aereon (Youtuber /Content Creator) says – At Adau, Balawan Batuan Gamelan Fusion and Jerry Kamit
For more info on the Rainforest World Music Festival, check out https://rwmf.net/
Thank you Sarawak Tourism Board, Sarawak Cultural Village, Malaysia Airlines and also Damai Beach Resort for the memories…..