Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getai in our backyard

So we moved. Not exactly to the heartlands but definitely to a more local neighbourhood. Proof of this is the fact that a make shift stage was set up over the weekend for a getai show.

For my foreign friends, getai translates to mean "song stage". These are performances typically staged during the Hungry Ghost Festival (which is now) sponsored by the Chinese clan associations or businesses in the area. Gosh I haven't been to one of these in ages & when I realised that there is one right in our backyard, it was time to introduce X & the Girl to this uniquely Singaporean experience.

It was a bit of a lost cause of course cos they kept asking me what was going on & my Hokkien wasn't good enough to do a meaningful translation & X could not appreciate the kitschy appeal of it all. But it was a walk down memory lane for me & I'm glad all this happened right in my hood.

Hungry Ghost Festival occurs in the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. During this time, the spirits of the netherworld cross over to wander. Hence it is time for the Chinese to burn offerings, incense, put up performances to appease the ghosts so that they may enjoy their brief sojourn & return happily to where they come from.

Be it a make shift stage
there will always be fancy lighting, band & a very powerful sound system

Glam or Kitsch ?

Our fellow audience members


Beau Lotus 涟 said...

Just below my parents' HDB flat is a temple. So they get the getai every year, they perform till 11pm and we just need to stay home with the windows open to catch everything. I like it better in Hokkien than in Mandarin. Unless you're from Beijing Mandarin is not a funny language at all.

petite fleur said...

Then theirs is really in the backyard !

There is much more "flavour" in dialect - be it Hokkien or Cantonese. Which is why when translated, the humour is lost. Sadly they couldn't understand why the audience was happily laughing away.

The crowd was really into it. Laughing & singing along with every song.