Santai-Santai Seni enlivens Miri Hospital

Craft artist Peggy Siew (seated) demonstrates to Ting (second right) and other visitors how ‘Tanguk’ (Iban traditional neck ornament) is made.

MIRI: It was a lively and vibrant day at Miri Hospital yesterday, where the inaugural ‘Santai-Santai Seni’ took place for the first time.

The ‘mind and body therapy’ programme was run by the hospital in collaboration with Miri Visual Artists Association (PPSVM), in which it incorporated arts and music to various health education and screening activities that were conducted at the hospital lobby.

Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, who officiated at the launch, was happy to see the pleasant change in the mood at the hospital, brought about by the event.

“At first, I thought it was something different but the moment I arrived, I saw and experienced a mood that
we would not normally experience whenever we go to a hospital – it was lively and all smiles.

“Music is indeed a universal therapy,” he said when met at the hospital.

In commending the organisers for initiating the programme, Ting also expressed his hope for more of such event to be held.

In showing his support for more similar programmes in the future, Ting announced a grant of RM5,000 for PPSVM to carry out its activities.

Earlier in his speech, Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong said there had been studies that proved the viability of the utilisation of arts and music in the healing process.

“More importantly, it (method) is safe, less costly, and able to create a harmonious healing environment.

“In some countries, art-based activities are run for patients, visitors and the staff.

“Music, on the other hand, is known to give calming and de-stressing effects, to reduce the feeling of fear and also to improve the emotional state of patients, especially children.

“Music also allows us to communicate with one another,” he said.

Dr Wong admitted that he had been waiting to hold such event for years – when Noel Belulok of the PSSVM emailed to him about this event two months ago, he said ‘yes’ without any hesitation.

“For now, Miri Hospital is putting art pieces at strategic locations around the hospital.

“We are starting on a moderate scale t”.

Meanwhile Noel, who was the joint-chairman of the programme, said the event also aimed to foster closer rapport between hospital staff and PSSVM members.

“We also want to share with others our experiences in arts – in this case, the process in physical and emotional healing through arts,” he said, hoping that event could be held on annual basis via the collaboration between Miri Hospital and PSSVM.

Over 20 booths selling various art pieces, crafts and food were manned by PPSVM members during the ‘Santai-Santai Seni’ event, while nine booths were run by the hospital staff where they shared with visitors health-related information such as the pain-free and baby-friendly hospital concept, announcement of free health screening programmes including those for breast cancer, as well as information about blood donation and organ donation drives.

Those present were also entertained by Mulu Bats – an award-winning band under PPSVM that incorporated the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ (3R) concept in the making of their musical instruments and costumes.

Ting (front, second right) joins the Kiput dancers in a ‘poco-poco’ number, accompanied by the popular Iban song ‘Berkikis Bulu Betis’ played by Mulu Bats.

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