Sunday, August 09, 2015

Rainforest World Music Festival stays in Sarawak

KUCHING: The venue for the internationally-acclaimed Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) will not be moved or hosted by any other state any time soon.

Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg debunked rumours that this home-grown tourism product might be hosted elsewhere in Malaysia when met by thesundaypost during a press conference held at the Sarawak Cultural Village yesterday.

“I acknowledge that other states try to organise similar festivals but their venues might not be suitable compared to us here in Sarawak, as we are located right in the rainforest itself.

“This is a natural reserve that has been attracting the tourists and we must preserve this,” he said, referring to the Sarawak Cultural Village grounds.

Abang Johari, who is also Housing Minister, added that this time around they have made some adjustments to the festival.

“We want this festival to be not only for the people in the music industry but also families and their children.

“For the first time, we are collaborating with the State Library to present a lot of reading materials for families with children to familiarise them to culture and performing arts.

“The festival of children’s literature will also be providing workshops for children at the festival, called Pustaka Bookaroo,” he said.

The handicraft centre has also been improved where traditional handicrafts as well as local attractions available in Sarawak are being showcased.

“The tourism showcase at the booth entrance which attracted a lot of attention last year has been expanded this time around. We are also bringing two of our local Sarawak performers, such as the DBNA Penrissen Cultural Group that will showcase the dances and music of the Bidayuh community,” he said, adding that the group also included the renowned Ring Ladies, a sub-tribe of Bidayuh people wearing copper rings on their forearms and calves.

Another cultural group from the Iban community will be showcasing ‘Muzik Pampat’ which is usually performed during the Gawai Dayak Festival, Gawai Kenyalang and Gawai Antu.

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