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Two countries that have never participated at the Rainforest World Music Festival will took the stage to showcase a cultural heritage which is as rare and exotic.

Druk Folk Musician from Bhutan and Sangtam Naga from Nagaland will make their debut this year giving festival goers a glimpse of the rich history and heritage of these two countries situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. Himalayan societies have been commonly depicted as remote and non-technological cultures that preserve traditional lifestyles, arts, and language.

Representing this unique Kingdom, Druk Folk Musician are three acclaimed singers and instrumentalists.

Sonam Dorji is a master drangyen (the Bhutanist lute) player. He is also the first to compose and sing a khengpa modern song, earning him the title of Kheng Sonam Dorji. International audiences know Sonam through his soundtrack contributions to the acclaimed Bhutanese film, Travellers and Magicians and his appearances at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife.

Ugyen Panday has been awarded “Best Singer of Bhutan” for his distinct voice. His unique contribution and creative journey has made him the timeless artist that he is today. He has greater experience and exposure since he has been participating in various international music festivals and events around the world.

Novin Kharel is a multi-instrumentalist with immense skills in improvisation and is known for his demand for authenticity. He has collaborated with diverse artistes and also plays various music instruments native to Bhutan.

Together, they present Bhutan folk songs and bring a touch of their gross national happiness to the Rainforest World Music Festival.

Sangtam Naga led by Guru Shiromong Sangtam, an expert on indigenous construction and craftsmanship. This cultural troupe showcases the rich ancestral traditions of the Sangtam Naga’s in the forms of folk songs and dances that are essential ingredients of the traditional Naga culture. Naga folk songs are both romantic and historical, with songs narrating entire stories of famous ancestors and incidents. Folk dances of the tribe are mostly performed in groups in synchronized fashion, by both men and women, depending on the type of dance. Dances are usually performed at festivals and during religious occasions. War dances are performed mostly by men and are athletic and martial in style. They have numerous traditional festivals where the tribes get together in a celebration of dance and music.

This is certainly one of the acts to catch at the RWMF 2019.





The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth & Sports Sarawak.

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