Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Magical Night in Borneo Rainforest - RWMF

I am finally sitting down at home, winding down after those ‘busy’ and fun days over the past few days. I was sort of a ‘tour guide’ for a visiting friend and a long-lost cousin who decided to pop by my hometown for a random holiday.

My friend, Vun Linn at one of the tribal houses. 
The RWMF was awesome. I had such a good time although the heat was scorching my skin. The humidity is making me sweat like there’s endless water from my body but it was worth it. I actually slept in the ‘Orang Ulu house’ in the cultural village itself. Sarawak Cultural Village is a tourist haven with exact replicas of buildings made to look like the actual village houses of different tribes. I was staying in one of the tribal houses.Thank God I managed to find a place to hit the sheets through facebook via RWMF open group. All the resorts nearby were fully booked and the only rooms available were too pricey. 

I enjoyed the Irish Dance workshop..that was a great workout.  It reminded me so much of the dance in Titanic where Leornado swung Kate around. Fun fun fun. I enjoyed the war dance even more. The aborigines from Australia were clad in full gears with white drawings everywhere on their bodies and they were charging it up against the ‘warriors’ from South Africa. The Africans won lots of cheers and screams from us. Their dance was superb. The bongos were just bringing us to a new high. I wished I took more pictures to share it here.
The funny man who 'intructed' us at the Irish Dance blackberry
shot really do not do justice to the venue

The wardance at rainforest world music festival 2013
Australian Aborigines against the South African warriors
I wished i brought a better camera to capture better snapshots
This picture is supposed to shine with vibrancy

We had a long break before the concert at night. It was cool to be in the rainforest and dance with thousands of music lovers without a care about poise or being cool and you don’t need to be stylishly dressed like you would in a city club. I felt like hippies in the woods during the sixties. It was fun. My favourite performers of the night were definitely the South Africans and the band from the States named the Pine Leaf Boys. The SA band even sang and dance with a tribute to Nelson Mandela. How wonderful it is to be able to celebrate with people from around the world for a good cause. He was a good man. The only downside of the whole celebration was the bad line connection. I was supposed to meet my cousin and a few other friends but I only managed to find my cousin minutes before she had to leave the venue. Sigh…

Anyways the highlight of the entire celebration was the after-event. As I mentioned, I was staying in the rumah orang ulu house and I paid for a bed in a dormitory-like room. I was sharing a room with 8 other people. The night was still young.  I could hear people playing music in the verandah so me and my friend decided to join in and watch. A few of the RWMF performers were there and some of the people staying in our place were there too. They were jamming to all sorts of musical instruments from the didgeridoo, wooden flute, trumpet to sounds from the waste bins and slipper-smacking. Although my legs were infested with millions of mosquito bites that night because I was clad in a loose dress..hence, my legs were not covered..i sat glued to the musical jamming for hours and hours. Again, I regretted not taking photos. I went to bed around 4 am but I couldn’t sleep a wink the entire night as my ears were flooded with beautiful music from outside. It was a magical encounter…one I would have missed if I were to stay in the city and took a shuttle back.

The Rumah Orang Ulu that we stayed for one night.
The sun was shining gloriously on the house

My friend, Vun Linn at the intriguing stairs of the Rumah Orang Ulu
I realised my photos have a misty feel to them
Must be some fog covering my lens :(

The next day I had to leave. It was a little sad to miss the other shows and workshops but I met some really cool people and had interesting conversations so it was time to move on and bring my friend to have a taste of other local ‘flavours’.

Below is a poem I’ve conjured up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep while I was serenaded by the music outside.

Do do dum deee wooo ahhh,
Serenades of flutes flooding the floor,
Moths visiting with melancholy hopes ,
Borneoan men smiling cheekily looking down,
Prints of tribal stories blend into modernity,
Relaxing with ancient mother earth of Borneo,
Dreaming of oldern rattan mats and thinker pots,
Caresses of wind blowing sweetly to soft ears,
Long soulfuls suckling of the mosquitoes,
A bite to reality amidst twinkling of grace,
The rainforest is whispering to half asleep maidens,
Come stay with the elves and half moons,
Fly away and dance with the moon light,
Till dawn it shall be free of loneliness,
Stay awake till the music beats no more,
Embracing the sprinkling of magic in Borneo rainforest

We’ll continue the rest of the ‘touring’ soon.  Thank God for the rainforest and for bringing all cultures together through music.

p/s: i hope you will be able to experience the festival and the homestay as well one fine day!

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