It was a ROR-some time at Rhythms of Rimba 2018!
by Stanley P, Carrybeans
Let’s be real; talking about the environment can get tiring and boring. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not an important issue. It’s just that topics about the environment are often presented in a dry and dull fashion.
However, Rhythms of Rimba (ROR) Wildlife Festival 2018 proved that raising environmental awareness shouldn’t necessarily be like that. Over the course of two days, the festival showed that learning about conservation of the environment can be enjoyable and meaningful at the same time.
ROR 2018 was held at Nexus Resort & Spa, Karambunai on 15-16 September. Located near the beach, it was the perfect setting for this year’s theme of highlighting issues surrounding marine environments, the pervasive impact of plastic waste and the quest for a sustainable planet.
We visited on the second day and while the crowd was quite scattered, you could definitely feel the spirit and passion of the people who were there. As the midday heat turned to evening breeze, the event grounds started filling up with visitors all geared up to join in the festival’s activities.
As ROR aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues, it was only expected that numerous organisations and individuals in the field came to join the festival. Organisations included Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC), Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, and Forever Sabah. Some of them gave talks while others did interactive game where visitors had fun while learning, all in the name of educating people on the importance of conserving the environment.
Borneo Eco Film Festival selling reusable straws
Environment warriors and personalities such as Kimi Werner, Pison Jaujip (from Rompuhan Di Tanak Wagu), and Linn Yong (from San Da Gen Kopitiam) also made an appearance to show how we can make sustainable choices in cooking our food without harming the environment. The unique dishes, such as Linn’s take on grilled river prawn or Kimi’s ceviche, show that you can totally enjoy great seafood while still making sure that our way of consumption is sustainable for the environment.
Linn Yong’s unique grilled river prawn
Yes, it seems very educational but don’t think it’s all learning and no play for the festival-goers. Fun activities, workshops and fashion shows turned the festival up a notch. Visitors were able to zip line across the event grounds, or ask for a personalised poem from Bentarakata. There were also workshops that you can participate in for free, such as Lukistulis‘ bamboo pen calligraphy class and Poi class from Liku-Liku Center for Creative Therapy.
Poi workshop by Liku-Liku’s Manasi Sotelo
However, the main highlight of the whole two-day event was the concert headlined by Malaysian popular songstress herself, Ning Baizura. We caught her during practice and even then we were mesmerised with her voice. She sang a few songs, including Awan Yang Terpilu and a few covers of popular songs; it was absolutely amazing.
All in all, Rhythms of Rimba was a great event and absolutely memorable too. Festival-goer Liyan K said the festival brought different cultures, people and sounds together. “I learned about Sabah’s culture, from traditional musical instruments to making rice wine. It really was a place of culture amidst sounds of music, and who can forget Aunty Patrin’s flawless hosting,” she told Carrybeans.
Liyan also commended the small but committed organising team for making the event a success. “The only downside was that the crowd should have been so much bigger because it’s such a great festival; hopefully more people will show up next time,” she added.
The event opened our eyes to the environmental issues knocking at our doors. At the same time, we had an enjoyable time talking with the participating organisations and individuals. The cherry on top of the ice cream cone was of course, the fun activities lined up for us.
Kudos to Future Alam Borneo for bringing all the fun from Sandakan to KK! We hope Rhythms of Rimba will return next year even bigger and better than before.