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MELAKA FESTIVAL 2012 A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

Melaka Art and Performance Festival 2012 a resounding success

Appiah Annan from Ghana performing Sankofa / Photo from melakafestival.com

Sep 28, 2012

MELAKA, Malaysia – The largest and only site specific art and performance festival on a UNESCO World Heritage site ended on a high note today as artists and performers celebrated a successful three-day festival. From September 21-23, Melaka was filled with art installations and performances by more than 50 renowned local and international artists.

Artists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Morocco, Canada, Poland, and the USA performed in the streets along St. Paul’s Hill where the asphalt became their canvas.

Running for the fourth year, the Melaka Arts and Performance Festival (MAPFest) is an innovative contemporary festival featuring dance, performance art, visual art, film, and music. The closing of the festival culminated in the gathering of all MAPFest artists and performers as they performed “Eulogy for The Living,” a large-scale performance, which provided a spectacular and soulful finale to the festival. The play was directed by the Founding Creative Director, Tony Yap, accompanied by live music and projections by Khaled Sabsabi.

“We were overwhelmed by the response throughout the festival. These three days has truly shown that Melaka has the potential to be an international hub for arts and performances. We are definitely looking forward for a bigger and better festival next year,” said Andrew Ching, Founder and Producer of the Festival.

As a supporter of the festival, the Malaysia Convention Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) shares the same vision. Zulkefli Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB, said, “Our collaboration with MAPFest this year is a successful one as it proves that Malaysia can be a center stage for global events. Melaka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the ideal venue to host such an inspiring showcase of the arts.”

The event attracted over 20,000 attendees, including an estimated 4,000 overseas visitors. Festival goers participated in a dance workshop by Australia’s leading Afrocontemporary dance practitioner, Appiah Annan of Asanti Dance Theatre, as he introduced traditional and contemporary approaches to dance from his motherland, Ghana.

Many people also took part in a forum discussion themed, “Melaka intersections: Living space/museum town” by Associate Professor Cheryl Stock, Director of Postgraduate Studies Creative Industries Faculty of the Queensland University of Technology.

MAPFest 2012 was directed by Tony Yap, in his capacity as the Founding Creative Director. He was one of the principle performers with IRAA Theatre (1989-1996) and has worked extensively in Australia and overseas including the Agamemnon Festival Colline Torinese, Italy, and The Trojan Woman, Vienna International Art Festival. As the founding Artistic Director of Mixed Company (now The Tony Yap Company) in 1993, he has made a commitment to the exploration and creation of an individual dance theatre language that is informed by psycho-physical research, Asian shamanistic trance dance, butoh, voice, and visual design.

MAPFest 2012 is produced by Arts Performance Festival Melaka Sdn Bhd and is supported by Tourism Malaysia, the Melaka State government, together with the efforts of E-Plus Entertainment, Mercatus Plus Malaysia, Badan Warisan Malaysia, Kingdom of the Netherlands, the French and The Netherlands Embassies, the Australian government, the Australian High Commission, Australia Malaysia Institute, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Embassy of France, The Tony Yap Company, Nyoba Kan, Simone Lourey, and William Randall.

Source: melakafestival.com

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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA FEST STARTS TOMORROW

Email    Print 20 September 2012 | last updated at 10:34PM

Taking arts to Malacca streets

THE largest and only site specific art and performance festival on a Unesco heritage site returns to Malacca for the fourth time from tomorrow to Sunday.

The Mapfest 2012 team

The Melaka Art And Performance Festival or Mapfest 2012, held daily at 10am, has performances by more than 50 local and international artistes from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, France, Ghana, South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Morocco, Canada, Poland and the United States.
They will perform on the streets along St Paul’s Hill and the asphalt will become their canvas.

Mapfest 2012 draws from Malacca’s famous heritage sites to create a space for contemporary culture and artistic practice. It will have components such as Cerita Pendek (Short Stories) 1 and 2, visual arts, discussions and workshops.
Cerita Pendek brings together dance, music and performances from all participating artistes in short works over two nights at St Paul’s Church.

On Sunday night, they will all perform Eulogy For The Living, a spectacular finale directed by Tony Yap and accompanied by live music, and projections by Khaled Sabsabi.
Producer Andrew Ching says: “The festival provides an avenue for up-coming performers to showcase their talents and collaborate with international artistes.”

Festival supporter the Malaysia Convention And Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer Zulkefli Sharif says that as a heritage site, Malacca has always been a popular tourist attraction and the festival enhances its offerings.

 
The event is set to attract more than 4,000 international attendees who can join a dance workshop by Australia’s leading dancer Appiah Annan of Asanti Dance Theatre who will introduce traditional and contemporary approaches to dance from his motherland, Ghana.

Mapfest 2012 is produced by Arts And Performance Festival Melaka and is supported by the Tourism Ministry, E-Plus Entertainment, Mercatus Plus, Badan Warisan Malaysia and the governments of the Netherlands, Australia and France among others.

Admission is free.

Details at www.melakafestival.com.
 

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Tourism Malaysia

European Union Film Festival 2011

November 16, 2011 during 2:00 pm

Lovers of European films, do take note as a European Union Film Festival is usually around a corner. Organised by a Embassy of a Republic of Poland, this eventuality is now in a 12th year and is an annual eventuality directed as showcasing a collection of films that pull on a abounding and different talents of European film makers. These cinema not usually arrangement a informative birthright of European films, they also foster a informative birthright of Europe’s superb film industry.

Some of a films that are scheduled to play embody classics like Oliver Twist

The festival is now going on during several cinemas in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya until a 20th Nov before relocating on to Penang from 24th compartment 30th Nov 2011. This year, a festival will underline over 15 of a best general European films from countries like Poland, Denmark, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium and Italy. Some of a films that are scheduled to play embody classics like Oliver Twist and Great Expectations; comedies like If we Have To Be Honest and Tandoori Love. The participating cinemas in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya are GSC Mid Valley Megamall, GSC 1 Utama and GSC Pavilion, since GSC Gurney Plaza will be a cinema to go to if we would like to locate a movies.

Tickets are labelled during RM 5 any solely for ‘Cell 211?, that is free. Tickets for ‘Cell 211? can usually be redeemed on a same day of screening. All cinema will be screened in their strange denunciation with English subtitles. For a full report of film listing, greatfully record on here or impute to all GSC cinema listings in vital newspapers.

Photo (c) El Bibliomata

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Q’Sound Band

October 11, 2011 during 12:00 pm

Jazz lovers who missed a event to locate Q’Sound Band behaving during Dewan Filharmonik Petronas Jan this year, here is your possibility to locate them perform again! Q’Sound Band will once again beauty a halls of Dewan Filharmonik Petronas come 12th Oct 2011 for a one-night opening only.

QSound Band

QSound Band

This new and arriving rope comprises of internationally acclaimed performers from all over a world. Q’Sound Band has achieved in many countries such as China, a United States, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, United Kingdom and Greece. The band’s song is deeply shabby by Latin Rhythms, Orchestral Music, Hip Hop and RB. This rope prides itself in a versatile proceed to music. The members of a organisation comes together to emanate art for listeners who are looking for something some-more in music. They will be behind again to perform during Dewan Filharmonik Petronas together with their leader, Marques Young.

Q’Sound will once again perform underneath a MPO Happy Hour territory this 12th Oct 2011. The opening is scheduled during 6.30 pm. Tickets are labelled during RM 30 for all seats and congregation of a opening will have to observe a hall’s dress code, that is intelligent casual. For some-more information, greatfully record on to Dewan Filharmonik Petronas’ website here.

Photo (c) Dewan Filharmonik Petronas

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Malaysian Made Mozzarella at Langkawi

 

Words and photos by Ariel Chew, Pizza photo credits: sxc.hu

Many know Langkawi as a land of legends, duty-free shopping and idyllic beach resorts.  But few realise that it is the only place in the country that produces mozzarella cheese from fresh buffalo milk.

That’s right, cheese lovers.  You no longer have to have to travel all the way to Italy to enjoy rich and creamy fresh mozzarella.  You can have it right here at Buffalo Park Langkawi located just a stone’s throw away from the Langkawi International Airport.

The Melting Goodness of Mozzarella

Mozzarella originated from the southern Italian regions of Sicily and Campania.  The word probably originated from the Italian word ‘mozzare’, meaning to cut off, referring to the process of cutting the milk solids after the milk has curdled.  

You can eat it with French baguette and tomatoes sprinkled with pepper and salt.  Or you can have it as a pizza topping the way Malaysians love it.  It transforms the plainest pizza into a yummy gooey and stretchy culinary experience.  To put it simply, a pizza is not really a pizza unless it has mozzarella.

To purists, mozzarella is curd cheese made from buffalo milk.  Buffalo milk is higher in butterfat content, lower in cholesterol and creamier compared to cow’s milk.  Fresh mozzarella is white, soft, moist, and rather bland in taste.  It tastes sour if it is no longer fresh.  Fior di Latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) is almost as white as buffalo’s milk mozzarella, but it is more rubbery in texture.

Because it has a very short short-life, fresh mozzarella can seldom be found the southern region of Italy where it is made.  Even with the advancement of cheese making, refrigeration and transportation technologies, the effort and cost are just too prohibitive to export fresh mozzarella outside Europe.  That is, until Buffalo Park Langkawi came about.

High Milk Yielding Bovines

Buffaloes are synonymous to Langkawi.   With the advent of modern machinery, they have been released from their role as beasts of burden and field ploughing ‘machines’.  But still they thrive on and can be commonly seen grazing in the sprawling green paddy fields of the island, cooling down in muddy watering holes or taking their own sweet time to cross the roads.  These animals fetch a princely sum of RM3,000 to RM5,000 each and are highly valued by their owners.

Still, buffalo milk is quite a novelty in the country.  The water buffaloes commonly seen in the paddy fields of Malaysia are swamp buffaloes which mainly serve as draft animals and a meat source.  They produce only enough milk to feed their young and thus, are unsuitable for milk and cheese production. 

Welcome to Langkawi Buffalo Park

Over 45 acres, it houses over 100 buffaloes

Activities offered at the Buffalo Park Langkawi

During hot weather, the buffaloes get a bath to cool them down before pulling the cart

The milking process – the buffalo is fed to keep it occupied

A close-up look at the milking device

River buffaloes (sapi in Malay) of the Murrah breed from India, however, are premier milking buffaloes (high milk yield with top grade quality milk).  They are jet black in colour with crescent-shaped horns and have a lifespan of up to 17 years.  An adult bull weights 550kg and a cow weights 450kg.  Each costs about RM26,000.

Buffalo Park Langkawi imports the Murrah breed from India as well as local river buffaloes cross-bred with other high milk-yielding breeds.  Established in 4 January 2007, the RM1.25 million agro-tourism project is a brainchild of the then-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.  Sprawling over 45 acres, it currently houses over 100 Murrah and Swamp buffaloes which are primarily used for milk production.   Milking is done a week after the cow gives birth and the milking continues for the next 7 months. 

The Making of Mozzarella

“Anyone can make their own mozzarella!” says Johari Saad, Liaison Officer of Buffalo Park Langkawi.  The steps look simple enough – provided you have fresh buffalo milk and rennet pellets (for the coagulation of milk) on hand. 

The fresh buffalo milk is first pasteurised at temperatures between 72 to 90 C and then cooled to 32 C.  Rennet enzymes are then added to curdle the milk – 5ml of rennet enzymes is added to every 1 litre of milk.  After 45 minutes of being soaked in the enzymes, the curd is cut and allowed to rest for a while in the whey (water that is separated from the curd) so that the acids can break down the calcium and phosphorus molecules to soften the curd.  This process causes the cheese to melt when exposed to temperatures above 85 C.  Next, the whey is drained from the curd to reduce the water content to below 60%.

Nothing goes to waste for the whey, which is a fantastic form of protein, is then used to make a different type of cheese called Ricotta. 

The curd is put into boiling water and then stretched to achieve a stretchy elastic texture before it is moulded by hand into balls shaped into bocconcini, Ciliegine, Nodini, Pizzaiola or Ovaline.  The fresh mozzarella balls are then cooled and packed in water for sale.

Cutting the mozzarella into blocks

Since Buffalo Park Langkawi is a cheese production facility, specialised machines are used for milking, pasteurisation and cooling the milk.  Apart from that, everything else is manually done.

“We maintain a strict standard of hygiene in our facility,” assures Johari.  While no visitors are allowed into the cheese processing section, they can still view the process behind clear glass windows.

According to Johari, a lot of research had gone into the production of halal (kosher) rennet enzymes sourced from the buffaloes at the Buffalo Park.  Prior to this discovery, the only halal rennet enzymes were sourced from vegetables and fungus.  Unfortunately, these do not produce flavourful cheese compared to animal based enzymes.  To date, Buffalo Park Langkawi is the only facility producing kosher animal-based rennet enzymes.

Their Malaysian made creamy, soft and appetising mozzarella certainly speaks for itself.

Valley Farm Dairy Products

Buffalo Park Langkawi produces a range of dairy products under the brand Valley Farm including the signature Fresh Mozzarella 100g (RM12), Ricotta (RM6) – a white, creamy and mild whey cheese used in lasagnas and as bread spread, fresh buffalo milk (RM3), yogurt (RM3), flavoured curd (RM2), ice cream and buffalo meat.  The products are sold at the Buffalo Park itself and also distributed to local hotels, resorts and restaurants.

Presenting Malaysia’s one and only authentic fresh mozzarella

Children love the delicious buffalo milk ice-cream!

Valley Farm’s yummy range of buffalo products

Other Activities

The river buffaloes are the main stars at the Buffalo Park.  Their docile nature and gentle eyes seem to beckon to the shyest child to pet and feed them.   Adventurous visitors can go bareback riding on top of a bull or be pulled by a cart or anok (Traditional cart).

Visitors can also stave their hunger pangs with the dairy products, buffalo steaks and salads at the airy and sunny cafeteria.

 

Family fun on the bullock cart

Bareback riding on the bull is fun!

The river buffaloes are gentle by nature.  Go ahead, feed and pet them!

 

Enjoy a satisfying meal or snack at the Buffalo Park’s outdoor cafeteria

 

 

Getting There

Buffalo Park Langkawi (Jalan Nyior Chabang, Kampung Nyior Chabang, Mukim Bohor, Tel: +604-966 7226) is located 10 minutes from the Langkawi International Airport and 30 minutes from Kuah town by car. 

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (daily except Fridays).  Entrance fee is RM3 for locals with MyKad and RM5 for foreigners.  Additional charges apply for buffalo riding (RM20), cart riding (RM35) and anok riding (RM25).  For more information visit http://buffaloparklangkawi.com

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