Location : Kampung Tema Mawang, Tebedu, Serian, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Woke up at 5.30am last Saturday, quickie shower, jumped into my car at 6am and drove like mad to Serian so we could make it just before 7am for a quickie breakfast and drove like mad again so we could make it to Tema Mawang 5min before 8am. This was so damn stressful to enjoy the flag off of the Serian Raft event.
Upon arriving at the village bridge the view was disheartening. The number of participants was like half of last year’s (Click here for Rafting 2014).What’s happening? Why the lack of interest ? Prize money too little? Participation fee too high? Starting time too early? Rules & regulations too strict? Has the recent pain in the ass GST got anything to with it? Have there been too many similar events? If so how can this event be made more interesting than the others by some modifications. These were the questions that went through my head and they should go through the organisers’ heads too. Something must be done to keep this event alive.
Personally, I have this to offer. Create a category for the engineering students of the local colleges/universities whereby they are allowed to design a bamboo raft free from any restriction like combination of raw materials other than just bamboo. But the combination ration has to be 6:4 where bamboo is 60% and ‘other raw materials’ 40%. This gives room for designers/engineers to improve the buoyancy and hydrodynamics of their creations and compete on science rather than brute force.
I strongly believe that for any annual event to sustain interest, change must come and the ability to detect and accept the fact that it is getting stale. I hope they will implement the new category next year. Anyway, ‘Good Job’ Serian. Remember – Tradition is as good as it lasts and that creativity is one of the ways to help it evolve.
The officials stand
Some rafts sink before they start
The new bridge at Tema Mawang leading to the back of the village