Wednesday, June 21, 2006

best job in the world

I'm in the arts for the longest time
I'm still loving it, I'm still feeling fine
Formal training I had in classical ballet
From 8 till 20 years of age
The move to go commercial for sure
Sealed my decision to be a performer

Memorable events like meeting dignitaries globally, are
The best highlights of my career, by far
My travels are nothing short of spectacular
Shows were tiring, moving, funny and clever

An artiste's journey is a game
I'm in this not for money not for fame
But for rewards that are most clearly
Continued growth culturally and professionally.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Today, as I sat in a cafe watching people
Talking, eating, laughing and doing their thing
I suddenly felt alone when a couple
Walked by lovingly,.... oblivious that the world is still revolving

So many kinds of species make up this great kingdom
As I sat still I noticed the beauty
Of trees swaying, birds flying and the freedom
Of discovering and telling our own story

I realized that being alone can be frustrating
A pain in the ass if we begin to accept
That life's puzzle shouldn't be missing
The pieces that make us whole and perfect

After some thought I have learned to discern that
Being alone is the presence of oneself while
Being lonely is the absence of the other
Now, with my sanity intact, I smile

So, being alone is not bad at all
Especially when friends pick up my tab at the cafe (hee hee)
Thank God for family , should we fall
Blessed with their strength we fly free

The cycle of life continues to play
If it gets too hectic, just chill and be still
For sure the sun will chase the moon away
A brand new day emerges, memory filled

As for they who spawned this poem, the loving couple
I wish them joy, happiness and cheer
We are all here to find love one way or the other
Kudos to all those whose love can inspire

Monday, June 12, 2006

Peranakan culture

For two days at the Arts House, I did an event featuring a peranakan wedding. Theirs is a colorful culture that dates back two to three hundred years ago. It started when Chinese traders came to the Malay Peninsula. Many of them met and married the local Malays. The original Peranakans came from Malacca and in later years moved to Penang and Singapore. Throughout history the culture developed a language that was a mixture of Chinese and Malay. The women were matriachs and were strong and powerful.

When the British colonized both Singapore and Malaysia, the western influence started making its mark and the Peranakans' heritage was further diluted. The term ' Straits-born Chinese" was more familiar to the westerners than the word "Peranakan."

Assimilation eroded many beliefs and way of life of the Peranakans. The old world Peranakans were mainly Buddhists and Taoists but now many of them have become Christians and the belief of bygone days didn't much agree with their current faith . Moreover, modern trappings of society created a huge gap between the old and the young.

Efforts have been made to bring back as much of the culture as possible

The instrument I was holding in the picture below is called a 'suona'. It is rather peculiar. A cross between a recorder and a trumpet. But don't be fooled by its small size. It is really loud and used to give musical renditions to traditional Peranakan weddings although it is a choice more than a must.

The Peranakans are considered a minority
In this sunny little island known as Singapore
My friends are reviving its HERitage and HIStory
Featuring dancing, singing and merry making

The Babas are the males, the Nyonyas, females
The culture is rich and colorful , evidently
The cuisine very sedap and recipes are for sale

Beautiful beaded shoes are a must if you're a wannabe

Porcelain wares are an important part of households

The designs are a little different from the Chinese
With butterflies and phoenixes as the main symbols

Bright yellow and pink, they are very pricey

The Peranakan wedding used to be a 12 days affair
Now with modernization and inter marriages
The sacred union is kept simple for the pair
And elaborate customs have undergone some great changes

In the old days the bride and groom cannot smile
Since it brought bad luck to their lives it was not an option
I suspect this hasn't been practiced for a while
Because a celebration is a celebration is a celebration!

For most clans, the Sarong Kebaya is preferred
Although it was traditionally of Malay origin
Hand sewn Chinese motifs that have been incorporated
Made this elegant outfit better than you can imagine

As with most lesser known cultures around the planet
The Peranakans are losing their foothold in the present society
While we cannot stop progress from diluting its numerous facets
We can certainly do our best to preserve its legacy.

13th June 2006