I had an enjoyable time at the JB Writers and Readers Festival held recently in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
The setting was the beautiful Danga Bay, where the water and its fluidity seemed to throw its reflection on the event. In addition, as many of the festival’s participating writers, musicians and publishers were indie folks, the vibe was friendly and casual.
The audience had interesting questions at my session where I discussed my book “Kampung Memories”, which revolves around the Malay kampungs (villages) that are now gone from Singapore’s high-rise landscape. An audience member pointed out that several kampungs have had to make way for development in Johor, and we discussed the need for documenting the social history of these places.
After that, a duo came on stage, and they rendered a Singapore Malay folk song “DiTanjong Katong”. I was very touched by this gesture.
On the whole, the organizer Tok Rimau, his team and the volunteers did a great job, and I look forward to see what they have in store next year.