Performing together in Chingay has brought about greater bonding in some families, resulting in closer ties. For some, this experience has become a much-anticipated yearly affair.
AN UNFORGETTABLE FIRST PERFORMANCE
Every year, Madam Sim Choo Bouy, a 57 year-old housewife and her daughters, 21-year-old property agent Yap Yun Hui and 20-year-old student Yap Li Yu, would watch the Chingay Parades faithfully, often wondering what it would be like to be among the performers for this street carnival. "We wanted to know how we can be part of the performance," remembers Madam Sim.
Their dream realized in 2011, when Mdm Sim and her daughters participated in their first ever Chingay performance. Though it has been almost a year after the performance, the memories remain fresh in their minds and still speak excitedly about the event like it was just yesterday. "It was great to be able to perform on the streets with many others, especially with my daughters, and that exhilaration was indescribable," says Madam Sim.
Apart from expressing their pride to have been a part of such a charming show and gushing over the vibrant costumes, outrageous make-up, energetic dance moves and fantasy-like performances of Chingay, it was clear that her daughters cherished the chance to perform with their mother as well.
With sparkling eyes, they expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to perform for what they used to be – the audience. Being in such close proximity to the audience, made the experience vastly different from the indoor performances they were used to, they explain.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
For 53-year-old renovation contractor Mr Foo Tee Hui, being able to perform together with his 47-year-old wife Madam Lee Siew Hea, a secretary, and their daughters, Ms Foo Han Ying, 20 and Ms Foo Yan Ying, 11, was a once in a lifetime experience.
Through experiencing the multi-cultural performances and meeting other performers at the Parade, his younger daughter, Yan Ying, made many friends and learned the value of unity.
Two families, two generations, bonded excellently through performing together and sharing the common dream of putting up their best for their Chingay performances. They spent plenty of time on rehearsals and building up their stamina, as they had to repeat their dance routines along different stretches of the road on the actual day. Though physically and mentally exhausting, both families agree that the thrill of performing was worth their while and they hope to perform in subsequent Chingay Parades again. Apart from the excitement of performance, the two families were also touched by the kinship and friendship amongst participants.
"It felt great to be part of Chingay and if I get the chance, I will join in every year," says Madam Sim fervently. Her elder daughter Yun Hui agreed, "It is not easy to find an opportunity for the family to perform together. Chingay drew us closer together," she said. As for Mr Foo’s elder daughter Han Ying, she says, "Chingay is special as it allows the performers to interact with the audience in close proximity, making it really exciting."
Adapted from: Tales of Chingay – Celebrating 40 Years of Chingay
Written by: Wang Run
Translated by: Lin Xiaoling