July has always been a big month for Sarawak. It is the month of festivals, including the world-renowned Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF). Folks from all around the world look forward to attending RWMF in July, partaking in a massive weekend filled with music, dance, arts, crafts, food and more. Held consecutively for the past 22 years, RWMF is being put on hold this year given the current COVID-19 situation affecting world nations.
To look back on one of our favourite times of the year, here are some of the things we miss about RWMF:
Dancing in the mystical Santubong rainforest
Obviously, we miss soaking in all the wonderful world music for three days straight! From traditional music of sape lutes to world fusion and contemporary compositions of reggae, RWMF’s line-up is so diverse that there’s always new musical acts to look forward to each year.
Plus, the ambiance is truly one of a kind. Where else in the world can you get a music festival held amidst a tropical rainforest, the majestic mountain, and the beach all at once? Only in Sarawak!
Partaking in traditional ceremonies
From day till night, there’s always something happening during the festival. Among them are cultural snippets like the Iban blessing rituals of Ngerandang Jalai, Bebiau and Ngiling Bidai.
Just go to any of the Dayak traditional house around Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) during the day and you’ll find interesting traditional rituals and ceremonies enacted by the indigenous people there. So, make sure to keep this in your #RWMF2021 bucket list.
Whether it is sape-making, yoga or learning how elephant ear is a strong motif in the Malay bridal headgear, there are plenty of interesting workshops to attend at RWMF! The festival gathers not just musicians from around the world, but also experts in history, culture, and fitness.
Meeting people from all over the world
Having your best friends around while enjoying performances at the RWMF stage is awesome. But what’s more awesome is when you vibe with strangers on the spur of a moment. It may be when you’re dancing together during a Drum Circle or swapping life stories over ice cold drinks.
Meeting like-minded souls to hang out with at the festival is fairly easy, and we can’t wait to do that next year!
Sporting on funky outfits, makeups, and getting new tattoos
If there’s one thing we absolutely miss doing during RWMF, it is flaunting our eccentric festival look. The good thing about festivals like RWMF is that it is a safe zone for festivalgoers to celebrate life and express themselves.
Everyone here is free to experiment with their festival fashion sense. Whether it is a whimsical make up look, groovy attire, or getting fresh new tattoos (temporary or permanent), no one will judge you at RWMF!
Tasting the local fingers
Festivals are platform that lets you experience everything from music to…. Food! Sarawak’s gastronomy is unlike any other, and RWMF serves a variety of them throughout the entirety of the festival. We have manok pansoh, Sarawak laksa, umai and so many more local cuisines that will tantalise your taste buds!
Besides, at RWMF, we can never feel guilty for binge eating day and night. Because we can always shake off all the calories during the daytime fitness sessions or by dancing throughout the night!
RWMF will be back, bigger and better in 2021! So keep your eyes and ears peeled for more updates from us by following us on @BorneoTalk (Facebook & Instagram) to get the latest news on everything Sarawak, Borneo.
So, what do you miss most about RWMF?