Daily Archives: January 2, 2006

Angklung – The Bamboo Shaker

A unique musical instrument found in South-East Asian countries is the Angklung, or “bamboo shaker”. As the name suggests, the design and materials used are simple. Bamboo tubes of varying length are mounted on a bamboo frame. These are then shaken to produce different notes. Each bamboo rod is of different length and the top third is sliced in half. I have seen handheld versions of these that only have two bamboo tubes. As each one would only produce one note, you would need quite a few people to play a song. However, in these pictures you can see that each student is in charge of seven “bamboo swings” which they knock to produce the different notes. This version is called Angklung Lao. The resultant sound is quite unique.

Watch a video clip by clicking here.

These pictures were taken recently at the Ancient City in Samut Prakan.


Is there any better way to start the New Year than having a peaceful bicycle ride through Surin’s countryside roads?

Not for me, at least.
On the afternoon of January 1st, I found myself surrounded by the dried rice fields and their total silence.
The only visible living beings were few cows, some bullocks and some beautiful white feathered birds.
The sky was as blue as it can be only decorated by some white clouds that sometimes were hiding the shining sun.
I was slowly riding my bike, looking around me when an old and beautiful song started playing in my mind, it was like I could listen to Mr. Armstrong’s voice singing: “…what a wonderful world”.

Yes is still a wonderful world to live in, no matter that a minority of human beings are trying their evil best to destroy it, this remains such a wonderful world.

And as I was approaching my village I heard some noises, some music still coming out from a New Year’s Party loudspeaker and some children laughing and shouting.
I looked at my right and I saw few kids diving, jumping and swimming in a small pond having lot of fun… and once again I told to myself “… what a wonderful world”.

All this just reminded me that life is basically a simple and wonderful thing, even with all its struggles, pain and grief, and I felt lucky to be still part of it… and while thinking about this another questions popped up my mind…”Who actually needs Siam Paragorn, a Platinium Fashion Mall and always much more extreme consumerism?”
Not me, at least.

For this old Khun Phu a really nice and quiet way to start another year.

Ban Naudom, January 1st, 2549