Rabu, 20 Juni 2012

Kumai River

I fell in love instantly with Kalimantan sky. In some pictures that I'm about to share, you'll see why. That's my first impression when I first stepped on Pangkalan Bun's soil--the vast expanse of sky, blue, oh so blue that it makes your heart yearn.

In Kumai River dock, we were greeted by traditional shows--a dance and a demonstration of local martial arts. The dance is called tirik, inspired by the movements of planting rice. Judging from the costumes and movements, also from the songs, I deduced that it's derived from Melayu traditions. I was wrong! It is Melayu tradition. So apparently there are many Melayu people living here, and also elsewhere. Some traditions are similar to each other.

The martial arts demonstration is pretty awesome. I mean, the movements are graceful yet full of energy. Actually the two men are from different branches of silat! Honestly I couldn't really tell the difference.

I was amazed to see the traditional music players. Most of them are seniors. I asked around and found out that most of the young generation are more interested in pop music, especially K-Pop. Too bad. :( When they are small (like the boy here), they still love the traditional music, but when they reach teenagehood, they usually are more interested in other things. I hope more children and teenagers will learn the dances and martial arts, in the future.

My partner and I were enraptured with the wooden guitar-like instrument. We'd love to try playing it, but we were too shy to approach them to ask. Maybe next time!

Then we use kelotok boat (I will share the picture later) to visit Tanjung Harapan in Tanjung Puting. Kelotok got its name from the sound of the engine, tok tok tok. These days some of the boats use engines designed for cars, more power and less noise, still, the name remains.

I noticed plenty of buildings designed for swallows' nests along the river. See the tall, rectangular-shaped buildings? They emanate high pitched noises of swallows (recorded) to attract the birds to nest there. It can very VERY noisy (it's as if the birds are giggling and chuckling repeatedly) so I can understand why some people object to these buildings, especially when built next to their homes. The nests are then exported overseas and processed there. Then it will be sold again to Indonesia and other countries, at premium prices. What a shame, huh.

During the journey, one of the guides told me to look at the river. I was amazed to notice two different colors! One is Sekonyer River, the other is Kumai River. We were entering Sekonyer River, and that meant Tanjung Puting area was near! (to be continued)

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