Rep praises organisers of Sape Movement Festival

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Garry (third right) presents an invitation letter to Dennis. Spanski is at right.

MIRI: Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau is full of praise for the organisers of the Sape Movement Festival 2018 for their commendable effort to recognise, uphold and maintain the culture of the Orang Ulu community.

Dennis believes that if no such effort is being made today, the Orang Ulu culture will slowly go extinct.

He also expressed his concern that many Orang Ulu youngsters today are caught up in the changing times of modern society, which might make them forget their roots and heritage.

“Sape is part of the cultural identity of the Orang Ulu community. Despite the importance of being in touch with the current trends and to not be left behind in the wave of development, it is also equally important that we do not forget about our roots,” Dennis told The Borneo Post after receiving a courtesy call from the festival organising committee led by deputy organising chairman Garry Sudom Raymond yesterday.

Dennis, who will be officiating at the event, emphasised that among its other main objectives, the festival will promote interest in Sape music, especially among the younger generation of the Orang Ulu community.

“It also aims at promoting arts and culture through music and entertainment as well as to provide a platform to show appreciation and advocacy of cultural heritage in the modern world.

“It will also act as an avenue for the new generation to explore their talents apart from empowering and engaging people through arts and culture,” added Dennis.

Thus, he hoped that more of the younger generation of the Orang Ulu, especially, would support the festival.

He expressed support for the festival which also incorporates traditional Sape competition, which he regards as a very important part of the event to promote the talents of Sape players as well as to expose them.

The inaugural Sape Movement Festival organised by Sape’ Movement and Ethnic Corridor will take place on Oct 20 at Coco Cabana, from 9am to 10pm.

According to Garry, the Sape competition will be divided into traditional and modern rhythm categories.

He highlighted that the festival will explore the origin of Sape, how it is made as well as how it has evolved.

It will also feature Sape makers and players who have made their mark and are known internationally.

Apart from the Sape competition, a Sape exhibition featuring Sape icons and the evolution of Sape, Sape class, demonstration on Sape making, Sape busking and a colouring contest have also been planned.

“The main highlight of the festival is the Sunset Sape Fest Concert from 6pm onwards,” he said.

Garry said over 2,000 people are expected to participate in the festival, including 50 Sape players from throughout Sarawak as well as world class Sape artistes in the likes of Jerry Kamit and Matthew Ngau Jau.

“We hope that the festival will be made into an annual event to further promote tourism and attract more tourists, especially music enthusiasts, to visit the city,” he added.

Also present was Orang Ulu Sarawak Youth Association (Yousa) president Spanski Steven.