After an exhausting day of dancing, singing, eating and drinking the day before, the second “official” day in Debut Island promised more of the same.
We were bussed into Langgur, the “big smoke” over the other side of the island where we were guests at a local carnival
From what we could gather, the carnival was arranged to commemorate the killing of a Priest and a nun by the hands of Japanese soldiers in WWII.
An American style marching band complete with blue silk coats, white trousers, high hats and epaulettes with plenty of braid, kicked the proceedings off.
There were also literally hundreds of dancers and singers and we watched as they all did their “bit” for us.
Some of the performances were truly excellent and for me there were a few highlights, one being a boys’ dance which involved bows and arrows and spears, a lot of stamping, posturing, slapping of spears on bows and energetic movements in bare feet on a stony ground. They were amazing.
We realised it was just like a Scottish country dance but to local music, and then it dawned on us that the girls were wearing tartan dresses! There must have been some Scottish Presbyterians in Debut Island some time in the past!
After the performances were over we were asked to accompany the floats, dancers and musicians “down the road”.
Well that was when we became part of the carnival rather than the audience! We processed through the streets for a good two hours with dancers, musicians and children in costume carrying trays of food.
Then there was more performances including a graceful dance performed by young Muslim girls and another notable one by the girls in tartan who shook their bamboo instruments which were all tuned to a different note and combined covered the whole scale.
Then the little girls handed the food round to all the rally visitors which we were rather loathe to try as they had been holding the trays for some hours in the hot sun!
When I finished taking some photos I went to look for Jonathan and found him sitting by a van looking white as a sheet. He felt really awful and badly needed the “kamar kecil ” (literally small room).
Thankfully, one of the organisers of the carnival very kindly took him to his sister’s house nearby on the back of his motorbike.
We had a long drive home but fortunately we arrived in one piece but with one very unwell Jonathan.
Sadly we missed the big feast that was put on for us that night on the quayside but secretly I was quite relieved as it had been a very long couple of days!