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The significance of lucky bamboo during Chinese New Year

First of all, the lucky bamboo is not a bamboo. Despite its name and appearance, this plant that you see being sold during Chinese New Year actually belongs to the Asparagaceae family, the same family as the asparagus.

Its scientific name Dracaena sanderiana is named after the German-English gardener Henry Frederick Conrad Sander (1847-1920).

Scientifically, this plant is more closely related to African lilies than the actual bamboo.

It is also known by its other names such as ribbon plant, Chinese water bamboo and Belgian evergreen.

The symbol of bamboo in Chinese culture

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Even though lucky bamboo is not exactly a real bamboo, let us look at the meaning of the bamboo itself in Chinese culture.

You might notice bamboo is a common theme to see in Chinese painting and calligraphy.

This is because it is a symbol of Oriental beauty. It represents the character of resistance, moral integrity as well as modesty and loyalty.

A famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) once summarised what the bamboo represented, according to its plant characteristics.

While its deep root represents resoluteness, a straight stem denotes honourability, while its hollow interior signifies modesty and clean exterior exemplifies chastity.

Overall, the bamboo is a positive symbol to encourage people to persevere and hang in there especially throughout a difficult situation.

The significance and symbolism of lucky bamboo during Chinese New Year

Coming back to the lucky bamboo, there are five elements surrounding the plant which makes it auspicious especially during Chinese New Year.

Before that, the plant must be decorated. First of all, there must be stones or pebbles surrounding it.

It is best to put it in a metal pot or hang some decorative coins on it. Then, tie a red ribbon around the plant or pot.

By doing so, you will have all the five elements to make your lucky bamboo plant to be auspicious.

The stones or pebbles represent the earth element while the metal pot or coin is the metal element.

While the fire element is represented by the red ribbon, the water element is the water used to nourish the plant and the wood element is the bamboo itself.

Moreover, the significance of the lucky bamboo depends on the number of stalks you put together.

Two stalks represent love and three stalks for wealth, happiness and longevity.

If you are doing business, put together five stalks because it represents wealth for businessmen.

Six stalks are for prosperity and seven stalks are supposed to bring you good health.

Let say you are looking for luck and motivation this year, put together eight stalks of lucky bamboo.

Nine stalks is for good fortune, ten for perfection and finally 21 stalks for abundance and blessings.

Even if you don’t believe in the symbol of the lucky bamboo and its significance, this indoor plant is actually beautiful and easy to care for, hence, making it a perfect decorative plant to brighten your home.

KajoAsks: Going behind the DJ deck with Nick Dhillon

Knowing how much festival goers are still pumped up for more music even after the performances at Jungle and Tree Stages end, Rainforest World Music Festival introduced the DJ After Party Stage in 2019.

One of the DJs who took over the mixers during the festival this year was DJ Nick Dhillon from Kuala Lumpur.

Covering music genres from EDM,  RnB, Hip Hop, Commercial, retro, Afrobeat and Bolly/Bhangra, it’s no wonder this electronic music producer was brought in for RWMF.

Deejaying since 2003, DJ Nick has released a few singles with artists from Denmark, UK, India, Portugal and Malaysia.

So far, DJ Nick has performed all over Malaysia including Sabah, Johor, Malacca, Penang as well as other countries such as Singapore, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

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Recently, KajoMag had the opportunity to ask DJ Nick Dhillon on his inspiration and what goes on behind his DJ deck.
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DJ Nick Dhillon on his deck.
KajoMag: When did you start DJing and what or who were your early passions and influences?

Nick Dhillon: Basically, I started to learn how to DJ at 9 years old. I got inspired by my father who was a DJ/stage performer back in the day. When I was about 10, I always wondered how people made music. While listening to music on the radio, it just struck my mind – like how did music get created? I then did my research slowly with a lot of attempts. Today I make my own music and I DJ to it.

KajoMag: What are currently your main challenges as a DJ?

Nick Dhillon: My challenges are to get my music heard to a large audience and how to start well, maintain and end well during a set. I’ve set up a goal and the goal is to always do better in every gig I get as I move along.

KajoMag: How you decide to play a particular record during your sets? Is there a criteria other than pure subjectivity for selecting what to play at a gig?

Nick Dhillon: Basically, I usually prepare my set every time before my gig. I listen to new music or similar sounds of what I usually play during my sets. Sometimes I get an original track and remix it and then play during my set. Though the main actual selection of songs during my set comes on the spot while looking at the crowd response. 

KajoMag: Do you feel a crowd is actually able to appreciate the intricacies and complexity of DJing if they don’t really know what goes behind the deck? 

Nick Dhillon: Usually when I DJ, what I believe is in seeing the crowd enjoying the music. Though the understanding of you can’t please everyone with music is always there, the main aim is to catch the majority, especially playing the next song and seeing how they respond to it.

KajoMag: How much do you feel is the club experience or crowd response shaped by cultural differences? When travelling, do you take these cultural differences into consideration? What was your experience during RWMF, for example?

Nick Dhillon: Well, the club experience and the outdoor experience – especially at the RWMF – is very different.

I must say it was amazing. It’s difficult to express in words but just amazing. And playing the music I make, that is mixing traditional Punjabi instruments into modern beats. The reaction is unbelievable. Music does bring everyone together. And that’s beautiful. Though, RMWF is one of my best experiences DJing, without a doubt.

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Nick Dhillon performing during RWMF 2019.
KajoMag: Care to share some of your future plans or dreams?

Nick Dhillon: My future plan is to always be consistent in music, I have plenty of new music coming up. That isn’t a remix, its original tracks I am looking forward to put up to the crowd. Also I’m working on an album.

I’m an electronic (EDM) music producer. I mix electronic music elements with some traditional Punjabi/bhangra elements that’s more what it’ll sound in my upcoming music releases. I look forward to more music festivals around the world to share my music with everyone.

Check him out on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and official website.

All photos courtesy of DJ Nick Dhillon.

Check out these six exhibitions during WAK 2019

What About Kuching (WAK 2019) is back for its third and the biggest edition yet.

Featuring a total of 56 collaborations and 99 events, WAK 2019 will turn Kuching city into a hub of colourful activities between Sept 28 to Oct 27.

Since its inception in 2017, WAK had been a true partnership between the public and private sectors while exemplifying its cohesiveness as Sarawakians and patriots of Sarawak.

WAK 2019 has also activated its Location X-traordinaire- the building that was once Ting & Ting Supermarket.

The month-long festival will all kinds of events such as conferences, workshops, live music, parties and sport events.

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But if art is what you are looking far, check out these six exhibitions during WAK 2019:
1.Art Street Kuching: Ruangseni Exhibition
Date: Sept 28 – Oct 27
Time: 8am – 5pm
Location: Location X

From fine art paintings, sculptures to a film photography segment; this WAK 2019 exhibition explores an over-arching theme that offers visitors a metaphorical and literal understanding of ‘Dreams’.

The exhibition will feature the works of Benyamin Bahri, Mj Samaroon, Norma Saini, Sonia Luhong, Syed Rusydie, Billy Simon, Iona Danald, Jack Arjuna Chan, Ida Thien and Bethany Balan.

Do watch out for their workshops which span throughout WAK 2019.

2.The Art of the Tinsmith
Date: Sept 28 – Oct 27
Time: 9am – 6pm
Location: The Japanese Building at the Old Courthouse

Let this exhibition walks you through the craft of the traditional tinsmith’s workshop.

3.Driven by Inspirations – My Artistic Journey: Ramsay Ong
Date: Oct 1 – Oct 27
Time: 10am – 6pm
Location: Location X

Sarawak’s very own renowned artist Ramsay Ong will feature 12 pieces of fine arts at this exhibition.

Visitors will be able to take an insight into his transitions through various mediums and inspirational moments that has shaped him as an artist today.

4.Sarawakiana Carnival 2019: Sale, Demonstration & Exhibition of Sarawak Arts, Sculpture and Handicrafts
Date: Oct 4 – Oct 6
Time: 8.30am – 4.30pm
Location: Sarawak State Library’s lobby

An event about Kuching or Sarawak overall can never be complete without an exhibition about Sarawak craft. This exhibition will feature the art of carving and sculpture in Sarawak.

5.Discover Kuching – Photography Exhibition
Date: Oct 5 – Oct 11
Time: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Location: Ground Floor @The Hills Mall

Organised by Swinburne Photomedia and Design Club, this exhibition aims to showcase and promote local Kuching lifestyle and culture through photography.

Besides exhibition, there will be photography and editing workshops happening at the venue.

Date: Oct 12- Oct 13
Time: 11am – 6pm
Location: Ground Floor @ Plaza Merdeka Mall

Expect to see how four fields of arts (visual art, dance, music and theater) to come together in this exhibition called Symbiosis.

Organised by Visual Art Department from Sekolah Seni Malaysia Sarawak, the exhibition promises it is a showcase to remember.

About WAK

In 2017, Donald and Marina Tan founded a festival which brings together numerous communities in Kuching city to stage their different contents under one roof called ‘What About Kuching’ or better known as WAK.

It is an ‘open access’ festival, meaning that anyone and everyone can participate and all it takes is for those interested to fill in a proposal form during the Call for Proposal period from March to May each year.

Find more about the rest of WAK 2019 events here.

KajoPicks: 5 best foods to go with your beer at Kuching Food Fest 2019

So by now, you might have seen all the reviews for Kuching Food Fest 2019. From the most popular foods, most popular ice-creams to the classic and best foods you should actually try.

But we, at KajoMag are going to share with you the type of food that actually matters to us – food that goes well with beer.

First of all, what kinds of foods are compatible with your brew? That actually depends on what kinds of beer you are having.

Generally, foods that digest well with your beer are barbecued meat (think Sabahan sinalau bakas) and fried salty foods.

According to Men’s Journal, cheese, sandwiches and pizza could go well with almost any beer. While chicken, seafood, pasta go well with light beer and fried foods should be paired with any brew which cleanse your palate like Stella Artois.

If you prefer your brew as dark as your soul like stout, be a carnivore and choose burgers, steak and roasted meats instead.

Some of the choices of beer offered at the Kuching Food Fest include Carlsberg, Asahi, Tiger, Royal Stout and various flavours of Somersby cider.

So here are our picks for five best foods to go with our Carlsberg Draught, Asahi and Somersby Blackberry Cider during Kuching Food Fest:
1.Thai Pork Barbecued at Stall No.211 (3 sticks for RM15)
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Thai BBQ Pork Meat

If you have been to any night markets in Thailand and tried their barbecued pork, this is the closest thing you can get to it here.

Although Kuching Food Fest does not offer any Thai beers like Chang, this flavourful and tender barbecued pork is a champion because it goes well with any other beer.

The stall also offers other items on the menu such as garlic and cheese sausages. But take it from us; if you are planning to drink beer, the garlic sausage can leave a funny after-taste on your palate, so this is best eaten on another day.

2.Swedish Kurobuta Meatballs at Stall No.190 (6 balls for RM10)
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Swedish meatballs.

Just by taking in the aroma, you can tell these Swedish meatballs are made from fresh ground pork because it gives off that warm smell of your mum cooking minced pork soup in the kitchen.

Surprisingly, the best pairing for Swedish Kurobuta Meatballs is Somersby Blackberry Cider.

So you might want to try other fruity ciders to go with it.

3.Sausages from Pinoy Lechon Baboy at Stall No.122 (1 stick with 3 sausages for RM10)
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While the meatballs go well with cider, the pork sausages from Pinoy Lechon Baboy are sweet and the flavours tend to get lost with the sweetness of the ciders.

These sausages go best with punchy beers or lagers like Carlsberg and Asahi.

4.Takoyaki at Stall No.10 (One box for RM12.90)
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Unlike most takoyaki which are filled with minced or diced octopus, this one has its legs poking out from the batter.

Plus, the best part of this snack is that the octopus is nicely cooked and not chewy. Choose this if you are looking something light to go with your beer.

5.Stuffed Chicken with Rice at Stall No.176 (One piece for RM8.50)
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Stuffed Chicken with rice.

This food item is a random find at the festival and unexpectedly, it is compatible with beer.

It is made from chicken stuffed with rice. You can choose the original normal white rice and Malaysian favourite nasi lemak.

The marinade for the chicken is more on the sweet side and the rice is equally flavourful.

About Kuching Food Fest 2019

Kuching Food Festival or widely known as Kuching Food Fest is part of Kuching Festival, an annual event organised by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) to celebrate Kuching being elevated to city status on Aug 1, 1988.

This year the food fair happening from July 26 to Aug 16 is made up of 281 stalls selling a wide variety of food ranging from local, Japanese, Korean, Western Indian and Taiwanese cuisine.

While it might not be easy to find a seat due to the crowd, there are designated places for those having beer.

Do take note that some of the beer brands might run out sooner then you think, so you might want to go early.

Besides food, the festival also features nightly entertainment and a trade fair.

Read more about tips before going to Kuching Food Fest here.

World Press Photo Exhibition shows in Kuching, Sarawak for the first time

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The exhibition showcased the winners of the annual World Press Photo Contest.

In 1955, a group of Dutch photographers organised an international contest to showcase their works to the world. They called it ‘World Press Photo’ and now it has become one of the most esteemed photography competitions in the world.

Fast forward to today, the exhibition has toured more than 100 cities in 45 countries, including Kuching.

For the first time ever, the exhibition is being held in Kuching in conjunction with What About Kuching (WAK) 2018, showcasing the winners of the annual World Press Photo Contest of which 4,548 photographers from 125 countries sent in a total 73,044 entries.

True to its name, the winning photos gave fair and compelling insights about what happening in and around the world.

Apart from the winning photos, the exhibition also showed stories from six Southeast Asia and Oceania Talents of the World Press Photo Foundation.

Installed on the ground of Padang Merdeka, the exhibition is open for the public from Sept 29 to Oct 27.

World Press Photo Exhibition: Giving glimpses to the outside world

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A series of nature-themed photos on display.

The series of photos displayed were featured various themes such as environment, nature, people, sports and world issues.

Some of the photos were explicit and powerful, showcasing serious human rights issues such as sex workers in Russia.

For those who are avid fans of National Geographic, some of the photographers might be familiar such as Ami Vitale who is widely known for her work capturing photos of wild pandas and rhinos.

This exhibition also allowed visitors who follow prominent photographers like Vitale on social media the opportunity to appreciate their images in sizes larger than cellphones’ screens.

In addition to that, there were also well-known photos which have been circulated on international news.

The most famous one displayed was the image of 28-year-old student Victor Salazar whose clothes caught on fire after a motorcycle exploded during a street protest in Venezuela against its president Nicolas Maduro.

The exhibition also managed to open up any visitors’ eyes to world issues such as the stateless case of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the deforestation in Brazilian Amazon.

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A man vapes thoughtfully as he studies a panel of photos in a set which also features an image of Victor Salazar caught on fire during street protests in (right).

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A series of photos featuring two sisters living in a bioenergy village in Austria.

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Some of the works by Italian photographer Fausto Podavini.

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A man viewing the images by National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale.

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The exhibition is also part of an effort to reactivate spaces in Kuching such as Padang Merdeka.

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World Press Photo exhibition has toured to more than 100 cities in 45 countries and now is in Kuching.

About WAK World Press Photo exhibition

What About Kuching (WAK) city festival together with Sarawak Museum Department co-organised the exhibition sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak. The Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology Kuching supported the event through its design and installation.

5 things to do at Danau Sentarum Festival in West Kalimantan this October

Danau Sentarum Festival is an annual event organised in Kapuas Hulu District which was started in 2012.

The festival is aimed to promoted the rich culture of people in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan particularly around Danau Sentarum.

This year, Danau Sentarum Festival will be held on Oct 25 to 28 at three different locations including Lanjak, Batang Lupar and Putussibau.

With the theme “Stimulate Cross-Border Ecotourism in the Heart of Borneo”, the festival was launched as part of 100 Wonderful Events Indonesia by Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia.

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The Danau Sentarum Festival will spread out in different locations including Putussibau.

If you are heading to Danau Sentarum Festival this year, here are five things to expect during the event:

1. Join in the Danau Sentarum Cruise

During the festival, visitors are more than welcomed to join the Danau Sentarum Cruise which they will be taken on board Bandong boats to explore the lake.

It is a unique boat with the bottom designed by the Malays and the top designed by the Dayaks. The boat is used as both transportation and accommodation.

There will be two trips daily; one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Visitors should take this opportunity to observe the daily activities of people living in Danau Sentarum.

Plus, do not forget to bring your binocular just in case you can spot any birds along the way.

2. Watch traditional boat parade

Boats are important assets for the local communities of Danau Sentarum. Each tribes living in their area has its own unique traditional boats.

This year, the Dayak Tamambaloh tribe’s Parau Tambe boat by will lead the Traditional Boat Parade. The event will start from Lanjak town to Kedungkang, Melayu Island and Sepandan island, all around Danau Sentarum. 

It is definitely a sight to see with each boat will feature its own traditional music and dances. This activity will be held on Oct 27.

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An example of a Malay village at Danau Sentarum.

3. Enjoy the music of Sentarum Ethnic Music Festival

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Dusun Kedungkang, an Iban longhouse of Batang Lupar district, West Kalimantan.

What do Kalimantan and its Malaysian neighbour, Sarawak have in common when it comes to music? The sape.

This Dayak traditional lute will be featured together with rebana, sitar, gambus with other musical instrument at the Sentarum Ethnic Music Festival (Lanjak, Oct 26).

This is a golden opportunity to hear and compare the different sounds of various tribes in Kapuas Hulu regency, West Kalimantan.

4. Watch the one-of-a-kind Arwana Super Red Contest

Heading over to Putussibau, the contest to be held over the course of the festival aims to promote the conservation of the ‘dragon fish’, the Arwana Super Red (Scleropages formosus). Also called Ikan Siluk Merah in Indonesia, this fish in its vibrant colours ranging from red to chili ted is endemic to Danau Sentarum and has a reputation as one of the most expensive fishes in the world.

5. Have some honey at Culture and Honey Festival

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An example of traditional tattoo of a Kayan Mendalam woman.

Beside arwana fish, another special commodity from Danau Sentarum is its honey. The honey is traditionally farmed and harvested by the Malay communities of Danau Sentarum.

The event will see a parade of 2,000 people drinking honey from bamboo cups.

And the best part is the local people will be donning their traditional attires during this festival. The Culture and Honey Festival will be held at Lanjak on Oct 25.

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Are you up for a blowpipe challenge this coming Danau Sentarum Festival?

Other activities include a blowpipe competition, carving contest, traditional tattoo demonstration, dragon boat and bidar boat races and many more.

For more information on Danau Sentarum Festival, contact the organiser here or here or download the booklet here.

Experience different sights, sounds and flavours at Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival

The Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival returned for its 17th installment this year to Carpenter Street, one of the oldest streets in the city.

The event started from Sept 17 and will be ending on September 24 and runs from 6pm to 11pm.

With the slogan “Sight, Sound and Taste”, the nightly event showcases the different food, music and cultures of various ethnicities in Sarawak.

Organised by The Federation of Kuching Division Community Association with Kuching Old Market Community Association, the festival promises eight days of fun-packed activities for all ages.

The different sights, sounds and tastes at Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival

As celebration in Sarawak is nothing without food, there are so many cuisines to choose from at the Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival.

From traditional Chinese food to Dayak barbecued goodies, visitors will be spoilt for choice.

Patrons can quench their thirst with a variety of drinks such as Thai milk tea, Vietnamese coffee and assorted bubble teas.

For those who are health-conscious, Kuching Chinese Traditional and Holistic Natural Medicine Association is there to provide free medical checkup.

Apart from that every night from 8am to 9pm, there will be Street Magic Show happening along Carpenter Street.

Making its return this year is 2017’s RM2 Charity Haircut where hairdressers from Maison Monica Hair & Beauty Academy are offering haircut services. The proceeds will be donated to Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).

Other activities are children’s colouring competition, lantern fabrication competition, snow skin mooncake making contest and photography competition.

Local patrons who are diving are advised to park their vehicles at Plaza Merdeka, St. Thomas Cathedral or the Kuching Waterfront.

About Mooncake Festival

The mooncake festival or mid-autumn festival is a harvest festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.

This year, the festival falls on Sept 24. On this day, the traditional delicacy called mooncake is enjoyed and shared among family and friends.

Visit Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival’s Facebook page for more information on the festival.

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The eight-day Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival promises fun activities for all ages.


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There will be a live Chinese orchestra performance at one end of Carpenter Street.


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A glass of Vietnamese coffee to quench your thirst.

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There will be performances by different ethnic groups every night and visitors are more than welcome to join in the fun.

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Have some mooncakes which are inspired by Sarawak kek lapis.

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Oyster pancakes fresh off the stove.


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Different kinds of sausage, anyone?

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Visitors can also enjoy freshly fried dumplings at the Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival.


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The friendly ice-cream goyang vendor will let customer to shake the traditional Popsicle making machine.

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To carry brightly-lit lantern like this is part of celebrating the mooncake festival.

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Trader selling lanterns at the Kuching Multicultural Mooncake Festival.

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A dragon dance performance happening at The Hong San Si Temple.

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A taste of Thailand at The Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival.

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There are various street performances happening at almost every corner of Carpenter Street.

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Patrons enjoying their foods as well as the performances.


PHOTOS: Music and more during the Rainforest World Music Festival

This year, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) made its 21st appearance at the Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching Malaysia.

A one-of-a-kind festival, RWMF succeeded in bringing world musicians from different part of the globe to rock at the foot of Mount Santubong.

On top of the world-class music, there are plenty of activities to participate from the afternoon mini sessions to its craft bazaar.

The Rainforest World Music Festival will be coming back in 2019 from July 12 till 14. Meanwhile, here are some photos taken on the second day of RWMF 2018.

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A batik crafter showing his skills at the Rainforest World Craft Bazaar.

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Some of the batik works displayed at the Malay House.

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Danison Manium (centre) launched his first sape album on the second day of Rainforest World Music Festival 2018. Also present during the launching were Sarawak Cultural Village’s composer and music arranger Narawi Rashidi (left) and sape maestro Jerry Kamit (second right).

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A display of pretty accessories from local entrepreneur Candy Gems Chic.

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Festival goers hanging out at Damai Central.

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Two instructors from Level Up Fitness showing how to get down at Dewan Lagenda.

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Festival goers participated in RWMF Wellness and Lifestyle activity.

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U.S. Air Force Band of Pacific Asia performing in front of Orang Ulu Longhouse.

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A girl drummer from 24 DRUMS SMK Arang Road, Kuching.

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Slobodan Trkulja (left) and Raghu Dixit (right) belting it out on the second night of RWMF 2018. According to Dixit’s Instagram, he decided to have Trkulja from Balkanopolis (Serbia) joining him on stage only an hour before the performance. The result was one of the best vocal performances RWMF had seen in years.

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The Raghu Dixit’s bassist rocking it on stage.

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Oyme, an ethno band from The Republic Mordovia, Russia.

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Ezra Tekola from At Adau.

10 types of festival goers at the Rainforest World Music Festival

Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is like any other music festival where people from all ages and countries come together in the name of music.

Organised annually at Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching, Malaysia, the three-day event features performances from traditional music to contemporary world music.

As interesting as the performers are with their exotic outfits and sounds, the most interesting people at RWMF are actually the festival goers.

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Sometimes, the festival goers are more interesting than the performers themselves during a music festival.

Not to generalise people but here are 10 types of festival goers you tend to see at the Rainforest World Music Festival:

1.The Learner

Rainforest World Music Festival is not just about the music and dancing but it is also about learning different cultures.

How to spot The Learner? They are the ones who raise their hands and ask questions during the cultural talks.

Or sometimes you can see them at the Rainforest World Music Festival Craft Bazaar engaging with vendors and asking questions.

Sometimes, they are your typical university students who major in music or anthropology. Sometimes, they are the intellectual types who take the opportunity during the festival to learn more about other cultures.

You can also spot them looking diligently at the festival guide or sitting in the front row of the sape lesson session.

2.The Live Feeder

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Can you spot The Live Feeder?

These are the easiest to spot at the festival. They are the ones who have their smartphones raised during workshops, drum circles, and night performances for long periods of time, even just to take just a photo.

Or you can see traces of their live-feeding on their social media accounts even after the festival has ended.

3.The Selfie-obsessed

This kind of festival goer has a superpower ability. They can smell selfie opportunities unlike most normal people.

They know, for instance, which part of Sarawak Cultural Village gives the best photo ops, who to take wefies with and most importantly, which angle to take it form. Like I said, it’s a superpower.

4.The Spectator

Every music festival needs to have The Spectator. They are the ones who peek through the windows of the Iban Longhouse to watch a dance interactive session but never join in.

They watch the night performances from afar… such as the balcony of Dewan Lagenda or sitting at the back on their picnic mats.

Whatever it is, they are just there to spectate and enjoy the music.

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We came for the music!

5.The Solo Traveller

These are the lone rangers of the festival. They eat alone, participate in the mini sessions alone and they dance alone during the night performances.

Despite being alone, The Solo Travellers are the ones who look like they are enjoying not just the festival but also life overall the most.

6.The Party Animal

The Party Animal type dances the hardest, screams the loudest and drinks the most.

In times past when the ground in front of the stage could become a mud pit during a rainshower, they would be the ones dancing in the rain with mud on their feet and all over their bodies.

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Every music festival needs the Party Animals.

7.The Hobbyist

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I am here to do my own thing!

You have seen this type of festival goer, not just during the Rainforest World Music Festival but every music festival.

While the performers are giving their all onstage or in the mini sessions, they pick a spot and do their own thing.

Be it a yoga move or throwing a hoop or swinging a pair of poi, Rainforest World Music Festival has seen them all.

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“I come to share my hobby!”

8.The Herd

This type of festival goer moves in flocks. They usually have one tribe leader who decides which mini sessions to go or where to eat, one ideal follower who has no idea what is going on but happy to follow and the rebel who tends to break away from the group.

Plus if the herd is alcohol-inclined, they have a sommelier or beer connoisseur who keeps the alcohol level in everybody’s system in order.

Sometimes they have a babysitter who has a mother-like role in the group to make sure the herd is safe and sticks together.

They are commonly groups of university students and young working adults who take Rainforest World Music Festival as a short escape from reality.

9.The “I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on-but-I-am-here-to-dance”

Some people would call this type of festival goer a dancer…only if you consider their moves as ‘dancing’.

The difference between The Party Animal and The“I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on-but-I-am-here-to-dance” is that the latter tends to ignore what is going on because they just want to dance.

A band could be delivering a touching performance like At Adau’s Jackson Lian Ngau who dedicated a song to his late mum (in RWMF 2017) or Raghu Dixit from India and Slobodan Trjulja from Serbia giving a once in a lifetime hair-raising duet (in RWMF 2018).

These are the ones who would dance in the middle of a themed music demonstration or a drum circle during the festival irrespective of what is happening around them.

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Raghu Dixit from India (right) and Slobodan Trjulja from Serbia performing a duet song on July 14 during the Rainforest World Music Festival.

10.The ones who were not there for the world music but created their own world

These are the festival goers who were there at the RWMF but not exactly “there” at the festival.

They could be young couples who find their corners and just enjoy these time-defining moments with each other. Or even groups of friends who form their circles at Dewan Lagenda to drink together as the music plays in the background and sets the mood and atmosphere.

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Festival goers who created their own world at Dewan Lagenda during the Rainforest World Music Festival.

Five exhibitions you missed at the Old Courthouse during Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018

The recently ended Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) was a celebration of music, art, crafts, film, photography, food and culture.

The 10-day event from July 6 to 15 was a prelude to the world renowned Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).

This year, RFF organised activities at several venues around Kuching city including Malaysia’s first Blue Ocean Entrepreneurs Township (BOET)  Borneo744, the 144-year-old Old Courthouse and local hotels Pullman Kuching as well as Waterfront Hotel.

Local and foreign visitors alike were treated to a wide range events, from a food fair at India Street, a book fair by Big Bad Wolf and music performances by At Adau, Electric Fields and Pete Kallang during the First People Party.

On top of the food, music and a series of talks curated by local NGO Friends of Sarawak Museum and Sarawak Museum Department, there were also art installations displayed in several locations.

At Borneo744, there was an installation of woven objects called Forbidden Fruits. Another breathtaking art installation was a root sculpture combining the technology of video mapping presented at the Old Courthouse.

If you missed out on the exhibitions, here are a rundown of what happened at the Old Courthouse during Rainforest Fringe Festival:

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Some of the hyper-realistc artworks by Tan Wei Kheng, a self-taught artist from Marudi.


National Geographic Society documentary photographer Chris Rainier presented his photography collection circling on tribal tattoos.

His works on documenting indigenous cultures are highly respected and you could see the great length of his efforts through this exhibition.

You can still see some of his work on tattoos on his website here.

2.Men: Women & Symbols

Speaking of tattoos, Men: Women & Symbols is a photography exhibition focusing on Sarawak tribal tattoos in its own unique way.

Hasse Sode Hamid took photos of Sarawak household names such as At Adau’s Ezra Tekola Samuel and national diver Bryan Nickson Lomas to create a series of extraordinary prints.

He collaborated with tattoo artist Jeremy Lo and has various tattoo designs printed on to the photographs.

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A visitor browsing through the Men: Women & Symbols exhibition.

3.Forgotten Beauty

“When I went to tribal villages in the interior long ago, everyone was so warm. They invited me to their homes, even though they did not know me. They cooked for me. These are the old folks I want to paint. Their beauty is something I want the whole world to see.”

These were the words of Sarawakian artist from Marudi, Tan Wei Kheng explaining about his artworks displayed at the Rainforest Fringe Festival.

True to his words, Tan managed to capture the beauty of rural old folks from different tribes in Sarawak including the Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Kelabit and Iban.

The details on his works are remarkable as you can see every wrinkle, grey hair, and eye expressions of each portrait painting.

You can see some of his works here.

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A captivating portrait painting by Tan Wei Kheng.

4.Borneo People: A Photographic Journey

Just like Tan, Dennis Lau is another fellow Sarawakian who appreciates the beauty of rural folks.

Lau, one of the best ethnographic photographers in Malaysia documented the lifestyle of Sarawak tribes through his lenses for the last 40 years.

This exhibition showcased different activities of the locals such as a group of Penans making their ways through the jungle and a group of Kayans from Tubau enjoying their ice-cream.

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Kuching Old courthouse works as a venue for five exhibitions during Rainforest Fringe Festival 2018.

5.An introduction to the White Ranee

We have heard so much of all three White Rajahs, but what about the women who stood by them?

An Introduction to the White Ranee gave a glimpse of the life of Margaret De Windt, the wife of the Second Rajah of Sarawak Charles Brooke.

It showed various personal items including childhood photo of her three sons Vyner, Bertram and Harry as well as a silver handheld mirror belonged to the late Ranee.