By Catherine Goh
|Sarawak native dance accompanied by drum beats
Music is a universal language. It transcends the boundaries of language,
ethnicity and religion. Sarawakians certainly find it fitting that the Rainforest World
Music Festival is staged in the state capital of Kuching as they have long prided
themselves of having transcended boundaries.
"This is Sarawak's main international event in our tourism calendar
and we except it to grow in stature every year to become a 'must see' event in the
region," says Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Sri Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg.
He says the celebration of culture and music highlights Sarawak's cultural
traditions as well as the majesty of its forest. Local artistes will also share the stage
and workshops with fellow musicians from Africa, Europe, America, the South Pacific and
Asia to make it a truly global festival.
Now into its fifth edition, it will once again held at the Sarawak Cultural
Village at Santubong, about 35 kms away from July 12 to 14 this year. The State Tourism
Ministry is expecting an even bigger response from local and foreign audiences this year.
Sarawak musicians like Tuku Kame and Jerry Kamit will be playing alongside
the international groups while the sape being the emblem for the festival will make its
special appearance. The Chinese traditional orchestra from Kuching will be bringing the
largest troupe on stage to date.
Back by popular demand are the favourites of the 2000 Festival, the Andean
group Inka Marka with their haunting tunes from the Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Bolivian and
Other exciting line-up of performers include the tarantelle dance music
from Naples by Spaccanapoli, a capella singingand dance group Black Umfolosi from
Zimbabwe, soulful songs and ancient from Belarus by a three-member group Troitsa, the
warriors from Easter Island-Matato's and Turkish-Arabic music by Oriental Mood.
There will also be sarode and tables from India with Avijit Ghosh, Asian
percussion by Asena Percussion Unit from Kuala Lumpur, fascinating Vietnamese instruments
brought in by Khac Chi Ensemble as well as the highlanders, the Garifuna All Star band
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