Rain, blackout fail to dampen visitors’ enthusiasm at Siniawan Art & Folklore Music Festival

Siniawan Heritage Town welcomes the Siniawan Art & Folklore Music Festival 2022 which was held for the first time.

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, May 22: The rain, thunderous sky, and a few minutes of blackout did not deter visitors who thronged the inaugural Siniawan Art & Folklore Music Festival 2022 last night (May 21).

The unique and historic Siniawan Heritage Town and night market was bustling with activity, as people came for more than the weekend food choices.

This first edition of the festival, held from May 20 to 22, showcases artwork and folklore music depicting Sarawak’s rich culture and traditions.

Several renowned local artists were invited to perform, giving the crowd from all walks of life soothing folklore music and traditional performances.

A dancer from Bung Beratak Cultural Troupe performs the traditional warrior dance.

The crowd was also mesmerised by traditional dancers from various local troupes, especially tourists and those who had never seen such a performance.

The performers, business community, and public welcomed the festival with open arms and hoped it would make Siniawan Heritage Town a more popular destination.

This writer spoke to At Adau band leader Meldrick Bob to get his thoughts on the festival, and he commented that he is proud that his band was invited to perform.

At Adau Band leader Melderick Bob.

“We are glad to be part of this festival. Even though it’s new, its impact is quite big,” he opined.

“The crowd is good, and we are glad to be part of them. The festival is for all people from all walks of life,” he shared.

He added that the event showcases many local cultural elements that suit the folklore music festival.

“At Adau is honoured to be part of the festival. The band itself represent three different ethnic groups — the Orang Ulu, Bidayuh, and Iban.

“So hopefully, everybody enjoys our performance and music,” he said.

Then Khin Chon, who operates the No Name Chef café, said the festival would attract more people to Siniawan Heritage Town and the night market.

Food operator Then Khin Chon (left) poses for the camera at his café at Siniawan Heritage Town.

“We need this kind of event. It would be an annual affair, so it is good. I am sure food operators at this night market like it.

“There are more people today. But we are here to provide and serve good food,” he added.

Hailing from Batu Kawah, Then and his family’s café at No.11 of Siniawan Heritage Town had been operating for seven years.

The café is renowned for its char kueh (fried rice cake), fried kueh teow with duck eggs, and seafood dishes.

“We need something new here to bring more people to Siniawan Heritage Town. This festival will make the place more unique and popular,” he said.

The festival was organised by Ayak Art Gallery and officiated by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan.

Also present were Serembu assemblyman Miro Simu and Bau District Officer Anielia Siam.

For more information about the festival, call 016-8395058. — DayakDaily