The word “Christmas” brings to mind images of crackling fireplaces and carolers at the door, their breath making little clouds in the cold air. We think of candle-lit church services and poignant crèches. The holiday brings trips to the mall where Santa hoists little ones into his generous lap to hear their wishes. It can also bring deep sadness and longing to be with our friends and loved ones who are far away. At this time of year, we want to connect with those we love.
Christmas waves a magic want over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. Norman Vincent Peale.
Merry Christmas to All of you and thank you for following my blog 😉
Sometimes, I have so much to tell, but I have no time to sit down, write, rewrite and say this all in almost good English… 🙂 .
So I become Minimalist. Have no other choice.
I keep things very simple and short. I need only minimal amount of material things…
As you notice , even my Blog Posts are getting shorter and shorter… 🙂 .
What I’m doing all day?
Well, I sleep, I eat, I cook, I clean, I talk on the phone, I write, I keep blogging, researching, I dream, and sometimes (only sometimes) I work too. Life is more fun when it is light and dram-free.
And time goes fast. Very fast.
I have reduced my belongings to minimum.
I even work for minimum… 🙂 .
So I’m total Minimalist!
And I’m very happy about this all. I have very little to worry about.
In a nutshell, it’s like a well-oiled machine with just the right amount of craziness, sprinkled with positive vibes.
For two days it was a glorious euphoria, teeming with festival-goers frolicking care-free in the sunshine and occasional rain, everyone at one with nature.
This is not a festival for voyeurs or fence sitters; you are just as much a part of the fabric as the acts playing on the stages. The interaction is magic because it brings together people from every nook and corner of the world.
It’s a fusion of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that is beautifully reflected in the magical performances by musicians from all continents, playing all types of music – from the traditional, to world fusion and the contemporary.
The festival is held every year in Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states. Kuching is the premier location for the wildlife of Borneo.
Living in KL, I am a 2hr flightaway from the land. As soon as you land, the green tropical set is overwhelming. It feels like a peaceful countrysidish landscape. An horizontal city. Only the coconut treesdisrupts the urban contour. I slowly immersed myself in a cultural bubble, the 2hrs flight from kL felt like thousounds of km away.
Sarawak has a population of almost 2.5 million, made up of some 40 different ethnic groups. The non-Muslim (mainly Christians and animists believer) indigenous groups are collectively called Dayaks.
31% of the population are Iban aka Sea Dayaks
Ethnic and tribal music from across the globe will be featured at the nightly stage shows with musical workshops and jamming sessions being held in the afternoon. No time for rest. Our schedule was full of exciting discoveries.
The festival fueled a lot of talk between us. First-timers, we were thrilled to join such an amazing opportunity to spice up our expat life in KL. We were like kids in front of a Pinata, unified and ready to blow the mind.
Overflown with good tunes, and well, rain too.
The first distinctive sign: happy faces everywhere like we were all suddenly victim of facial paralysis. Total participants 2015: 30,000!!!
Overall, the festival is very much family oriented, kids playing around, although eclectic since I could not conclude in a specific ages average. We were a large crowd drawn in by the unexpected dance burst, the organization team clearly did working hard to get things moving, but making it look effortless.
∴ The plus
The entire festival put a high emphasis on the constant interaction with participants, the audience participation makes it fun.
The diversity of workshop available to us was absolutely awesome. I prefer to give you a bite with some of the pictures I have taken on the 2014 edition:
Since I lunched my blog a few weeks ago, I constantly hear the same question. So, what’s the difference between natural and organic, for food or bodies lotions?
Time for a update 😉
∴Organic, the official definition:
Organic is all about how a product or food is grown and processed. For a product to be certified organic in most countries, the operations that produce the organic agricultural ingredients […] must all be certified by an accredited organic certifying agent […]. Most organic regulations prohibit the use of pesticides and most other synthetic chemicals, along with irradiation, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients and bioengineering [aka GMOs]. NSF International
∴ There is no standard for natural labels.
What does it means? A local farmer could include some or all of the components banned in organic products in an item and still stick ‘natural’ on the label on the end product.
Too many other factors — soil conditions, weather, how the produce was transported and stored — come into play. But there’s an additional issue to consider — namely, safety:
Antibiotics: On many nonorganic farms, cows live in crowded, unsanitary conditions and have few opportunities for exercise—all of which makes them more prone to health problems. These may be given to animals when they are actually sick, or they may be added continuously to their food as a preventive treatment.
Pesticides: Eating food that’s certified organic means you’re limiting your exposure to the chemicals used to kill plant pests.
Hormones: What happens when animals are regularly given synthetic hormones, and those hormones make their way into our food supply and ultimately our bodies and your skin? Studies have found links between exposure to synthetic hormones and a number of human health problems including breast and prostate cancer.
We need to be aware, as a consumer, that there is today a tremendous organic food (and plants) buinesss that has became a very profitable industry. In the beverage and food industry only, it accounts for USD 23 Billions in 2007!
The one, like myself, that are genuinely keen on a healthy and environmentally-safe lifestyle are the primary victime of green-washing. So, I suggest, lets take the time together to learn about the appropriate vocabulary.
→ Natural: This product label is not synonymous with organic. “Natural” means that the product doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or colors. These products are also minimally processed.
→Organic : Organic products take ‘natural’ several steps further: they are made with non-GMO ingredients that have been grown, raised, harvested, manufactured and preserved without chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics – giving you products with fewer contaminants.
→ Free-Range: “Free-range” or “free-roaming” means that the animals have access to the outdoors. (Note: I could not find any information on the exact standard for how much access they have)
→ Antibiotic-free: Farms that use fewer antibiotics have been shown to have fewer resistant bugs, which may make their products safer when they reach the table (though studies are still preliminary).
→ Hormone-free: Any milk lover here? The presence of hormones is one of the most significant differences between conventional and organic milk products, even if there still isn’t absolute evidence that hormones are dangerous.
→ Transitional: It means that the product has been cultivated according to organic standards, but the soil and farm conditions haven’t yet completely met organic standards or the farm’s organic status is pending.