Chinese tradition, ceremony,culture


advill

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Now here is the real baba culture and not soup up melodrama of "little nyonya" And theater is the venue where this culture is transmitted One organization that does this is Gunong sayang association of Singapore
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They are there to preserve and transmit it for future generation I applauded the tireless effort of this peoples. the theme is usually family, living virtuous life, romance and drama, satire and comedy etc
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Normally still using the baba malay patois
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Gunong Sayang Association have us asking 'Lu Siapa?', 'Who Are You?'


The
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(GSA) was founded by Baba Koh Hoon Teck in 1910 as a cultural organisation to promote social interaction and the singing of dondang sayang among its Peranakan members. I was invited to meet the cast and crew of their latest theatre production 'Lu Siapa?' and find out more about what role a historic cultural society has to play in contemporary society.

This year's production starring Jessie Cheang as the loving and attentive matriarch Bibik Tan Swee Neo, Lu Siapa? (Who are you?) touches on the rising trend of dementia, as an outcome of our rapidly aging population in Singapore. It tells a bittersweet tale of Bibik Tan Swee Neo’s struggle with dementia and how her family responds to this domestic predicament.

Entering GSA's clubhouse at Joo Chiat Place, I received a warm welcome, and it was like stepping back in time into a living museum. Singing and laughter from upstairs and phrases in Baba Malay drifted down. Before going upstairs to watch in on a rehearsal, I was invited to the [marble-topped] table, and enjoyed finding out more about GSA and its members and activities from Frederick Soh, Vice President. Following our conversation and later visit with the members of the theatrical cast, it is obvious to me that GSA is more than an association to its members, it is a family. And in contrast to the play's title that asks 'Lu Siapa?', there is no doubt that GSA provides its members with a very real sense of who they are.

Nya Veronica Tan Lyann, playwright of Lu Siapa? gathers her inspiration from her personal journey living with elderly parents. She writes the story based on her first- hand experience in taking care of the elderly and sick, and the challenges that her family had faced. She spent an extended amount of time with friends and elderly who had dementia and paid heed to common symptoms and conflicts encountered.

GSA hope that Lu Siapa? will create awareness of the challenges that the illness brings to both patients and caregivers. This subject is of great importance to GSA as Peranakans value family bonds as a significant foundation of its culture.

Nuwa interview with GSA Vice President Frederick Soh (abreviated to FS below).

Nuwa: The GSA was founded to promote singing of dondang sayang and the social interaction surrounding that. Can you explain for those not familiar what this style of singing is?
FS: Dondang Sayang is a Traditional artform of singing where 2 parties will sing in 4 liner pantuns to the tune of dondang sayang , it’s a kind of banter between 2 parties on a specified topic be it love , the universe, the birthday boy,etc…

Nuwa: Does the association still promote this style of singing? If so, has it changed over the past 100 years and how? Why do you think it important to change/remain the same?
FS: Yes, the association still sings it but due to the lack of native Baba Malay speakers, those that perform these artforms usually memorise the words.

Nuwa: The forthcoming play ‘Lu Siapa? Who are you?’ produced and presented by GSA explores how a Peranakan household will respond to the fall of their matriarch who has early stage dementia. Can you tell us how you chose the topic and how this relates to GSA’s mission?
FS: The Script writer Veronica Tan Lyann and GSA committee felt that this year we wanted to address the issue of ageing population in Singapore and also the different illness that afflict them. We also know that many of those that came to watch our shows annually have also been affected by it [dementia], as such, we want to show how roads paved with good intentions can sometimes add to the challenging reality of caregiving.

Nuwa: Can you tell us a little more about the production of the play? Do you do everything in- house e.g. stage direction, scripts, lighting & sound, costumes and props?
FS: All those involved in the cast and helpers are all volunteers and members of GSA, however there are some professionals that we need to engage such as the lighting, sound, set designing…

Nuwa: Are you looking to expand or recruit new members from the professional art community? If so, are you looking for any particular skills artistic or otherwise e.g. musical, theatre, arts and crafts, volunteers...?
FS: We are recruiting members that have a passion for the Peranakan culture, once you have a passion for this culture, the rest will fall into place.

Nuwa: ‘Lu Siapa?’ is performed in Baba Malay with english subtitles. Do new members of GSA need to speak Baba Malay to participate in arts activities?
FS: Not at all, Like I mentioned earlier, as long as they are willing to learn, we are more than happy to impart.

Nuwa: In addition to theatre and singing, what other activities do you run that are open to members/ the public?
FS: We have embroidery class, Cherki card game class, 3D agar agar making class, Kueh making class, Mari Kita chakap Baba Class, even handbag beading class,etc….., its open to the public but members have discount.

Nuwa: And...please tell us what is your favourite peranakan dish? And can you cook it?
FS: My Favourite have got to be Itek Sioh, and yes I can cook it well.




Nuwa interview with cast member Jessie Cheang (shown centre left above and abbreviated to 'JC' below) playing lead and matriarch Bibik Tan Swee Neo.

Nuwa: Please can you share what it was about playing the role of Matriarch Bibik Tan Swee Neo that interest you most?
JC: I always have a passion for acting because I get to be someone else and with this year’s role, I used to be a nurse and have seen how Dementia patients react to different scenarios, acting as a Dementia patient gave me a better understanding of how these people felt.

Nuwa: How do you think the peranakan ‘setting’ for the storyline helps the play connect with audiences?
JC: Even though this play is in a Peranakan setting, it connects with the audience at all levels even if they are not Peranakan because everyone knows someone with Dementia.

Nuwa: From your point of view, is it important the play be performed in Baba Malay? Why?
JC: Personally, I feel that having the play in Baba Malay makes it nostalgic for the Peranakan audience at large, many of the audience will tell us that they miss listening this Baba Malay that were spoken by their grandmother, mother etc…

Nuwa: Lu Siapa addresses an important but sometimes taboo topic ‘dementia’. Have the cast and crew found talking about dementia has become easier having participated in this production? Or has it impacted you in another way?
JC: Dementia is a condition where diagnosis can only be made by the close observation of the love ones and there is no cure for it, Having been involved in this play makes all of us know the importance appreciating and telling your love ones you love them because there may just be a time when they wont know it even when you tell them.

Nuwa: Please share with us your favourite Peranakan dish? And can you cook it?
JC: Ayam Buah Keluak and I can cook as well.

Well Done Hendrik_ 2000. You are well versed in Chinese as well a Peranakan Cultures.
 

Hendrik_2000

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Well Done Hendrik_ 2000. You are well versed in Chinese as well a Peranakan Cultures.
Thank you for the kind words. It make perfect sense since I am both baba and Chinese Anyway here is another interesting news NUS will unveiled the result of their 2 years Gnome research in the Baba DNA

Nothing is more hotly debated in Peranakan community than the origin of the community Some people said there is no gene mixing what we see today is the result of "acculturation" of Chinese migrant in SEA because not that many family know who is this Malay great grand mother And there is no record. But many know who is their great grand father and which villages in Fujian province is their home town

But Chinese chronicler and historian do record that in 1500's many Chinese trader kept female slave and have children with them. And we do have record of slave auction in Penang until WW1 even though slavery was outlaw but the British governor said he make exception because it bring happiness to the settlement
Children were born and family were founded from this union. We are not ashame to the contrary we celebrate this cultural heritage

Any where else mix blood are look down but not in SEA out of this mud bloom a beautiful cultural flower and the peranakan grew wealthy and become the leader of the Chinese community in SEA. the Japanese seem to be very interested in this culture and wrote many books (Ironic) when during the WWII some of the fiercest fighting is in Malay jungle between Chinese guerrilla and JIA. Not to forget Changi massacre where prominent peranakan were massacred
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After Zheng He’s death in 1433, Fei Hsin, a scholar who had been on the admiral’s ship, wrote in Hsing-ch’a sheng-lan ‘The Overseas Survey of the Star Raft’ that besides darker-skinned people, he had also seen fairer-looking people of Chinese descent in Malacca (
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Fei, Hsin. 1436. Hsing-ch’a sheng-lan: the overall survey of the Star Raft. (Republished in South China and Maritime Asia. 4. Translated by John Vivian Gottlieb Mills. Edited and annotated by Roderich Ptak.) Wiedsbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.). A century later, in 1537, a Chinese traveller by the name Hwang Chung, wrote in his travel journal, Hai yu‘News from the Ocean’, that the Chinese in Malacca ate pork, lived in hotels, and had female slaves who served them food and drink (
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Groeneveldt, W.P. 1880. Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca: Compiled from Chinese Sources. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. 39: i-x. 1-144.
).


Peranakan ancestry___www.peranakan.org.sg_wp-content_uploads_2018_09_Peranakan-Magaz.jpg
 
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jimmyjames30x30

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Reflecting on that new blockbuster movie Nezha (2019), I found it very interesting that although the sinology academia in the US, Europe, Japan, Israel and China all have produced extensive studies and discoveries, they simply don't get much publicity outside of academia.

For example, even most Chinese people don't know the origin of Nezha or his father Li Jing.
Most Chinese people don't know that there are two Li Jing:

1. The mythological figure that is treated as a Chinese incarnation of Vaiśravaṇa (first of the Four Heavenly Kings in Buddhism) that appeared in both The Journey to the West and The Investiture of the Gods and earlier folk tales, the other is
2. A real life Tang dynasty military genius. (Tang dynasty was very militaristic and saw a frenzy of Vaiśravaṇa worship). Vaiśravaṇa was worshiped as a god of war in Buddhism.

People are still debating how exactly these two figures are related.

The same complexity goes for Nezha. The name Nezha (哪吒) is basically a short form of "那吒矩缽羅", one of many different Middle Chinese transliteration of Nalakuvara, the son (or grandson) of the Hindu Yaksha King Kubera. Kubera is the equivalent/Origin of Vaiśravaṇa. Therefore Nazha/Nalakuvara then became the son of Vaiśravaṇa (Li Jing) in Chinese mythology.

P.S. An Israeli sinologist says that Nezha's could be a combination of Nalakuvara and the Child god Krishina.

What's more interesting is that the "godly agent"/deus ex machina of the whole Nazha story of death and rebirth is an all powerful Daoist Imortal/god Tanyi Zhenren. This whole thing is extremely interesting!
 
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jimmyjames30x30

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Registered Member
The reason I want to point out the story Nezha is that this whole birth-death-rebirth of a child god story is giving me a lot of insights into the depth of the effort of cultural/civilization revitalization after the destruction of Mongol invasion in China, now that we have a more in depth idea of the origins and genealogies of the hugely influential mythological figures in Ming-Qing dynasty China.
 

jimmyjames30x30

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I think the mythological Li Jing is certainly inspired by the real life Tang Dynasty general Li Jing. Li Jing the great Vaiśravaṇa is a analogy of the impact of the achievements of the real life general Li Jing, not just because he is a one-in-a-thousand-year genius of military theory. But because his most significant contribution resulted in the conquest of the Southern Liang Dynasty by Tang Dynasty, the destruction and absorption of the Eastern Turkic/Göktürk Khaganate by the Tang dynasty, as well as the destruction of the Tuyuhun Kingdom by the Tang dynasty. This, I think, make him into a godly figure which represents the fundamental power that held the Chinese Imperial Order together, on a civilizational level: overwhelming military might achieved by a tyranical destructive patriarchal strength. This would mean that what Nezha represents is the power of the rebellious chaotic individual, which opposes this patriarchal strength.

In this case, I think the story of Li Jing and Nezha, father and son, gave us an idea of two equally powerful competing spirit. One is the collective will of a large structure of people, the other is the absolute individual. This duality is more thoroughly examined in the Ming dynasty classic novel The Water Margin. I dare to say that the story of Nezha is the spiritual prelude of The Water Margin.
 

jimmyjames30x30

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Registered Member
When we examine The Water Margin, we can see that in the entire book, there are almost no mythological/supernatural elements except at the very beginning of the book, where it explained that the original of the 108 heroes are incarnation of the "108 Stars of Destiny" (天罡地煞星), which gives them mythological origins. These Stars are agents of chaos in Chinese mythology. One of the things I found intriguing is that these 108 heroes are incredibly individualistic. They form no command structure under the principles of traditional Chinese Legalism, or imperial meritocratic statecraft. Their conclave formed by a sense of brotherhood and individual choice. They are not bound by social norms and rules, but by their individual moral principles/value systems.

Thus I dare to say that, contrary to main-stream literary/political science critique, I don't believe the book endeavors to demonstrates the tragic failure of the heroes to "correct the world of its evils” which many believe to mean that they should have overtook and overthrow the Song dynasty in the book. I believe the author meant to demonstrate to us that the structure of the conclave of those heroes are in nature the total opposite of the structure of the imperial order of the Chinese dynasty. And because of this difference in nature, one can never replace the other.

The nature of Water Margin heroes are that of a conclave/congregation of sovereign individuals whose actions that are only ruled by their own individual moralities and value systems.

The nature of the Chinese (Song) Dynasty is the value and survival of the collective: the behaviors of the individual members of the collective is governed by the social norm and rules that was architectured to ensure the survival of the collective often at the expense of the individual.

This is the "Grand Duality", the foundation of civilization of post-mongol China. Both are equally alive, powerful and important.
 

solarz

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When we examine The Water Margin, we can see that in the entire book, there are almost no mythological/supernatural elements except at the very beginning of the book, where it explained that the original of the 108 heroes are incarnation of the "108 Stars of Destiny" (天罡地煞星), which gives them mythological origins. These Stars are agents of chaos in Chinese mythology. One of the things I found intriguing is that these 108 heroes are incredibly individualistic. They form no command structure under the principles of traditional Chinese Legalism, or imperial meritocratic statecraft. Their conclave formed by a sense of brotherhood and individual choice. They are not bound by social norms and rules, but by their individual moral principles/value systems.

Thus I dare to say that, contrary to main-stream literary/political science critique, I don't believe the book endeavors to demonstrates the tragic failure of the heroes to "correct the world of its evils” which many believe to mean that they should have overtook and overthrow the Song dynasty in the book. I believe the author meant to demonstrate to us that the structure of the conclave of those heroes are in nature the total opposite of the structure of the imperial order of the Chinese dynasty. And because of this difference in nature, one can never replace the other.

The nature of Water Margin heroes are that of a conclave/congregation of sovereign individuals whose actions that are only ruled by their own individual moralities and value systems.

The nature of the Chinese (Song) Dynasty is the value and survival of the collective: the behaviors of the individual members of the collective is governed by the social norm and rules that was architectured to ensure the survival of the collective often at the expense of the individual.

This is the "Grand Duality", the foundation of civilization of post-mongol China. Both are equally alive, powerful and important.
I don't find that to be particularly significant. There will always be struggles between individual yearnings of freedom and societal constraints. You can find that theme in pretty much every piece of literary work. Both Journey to the West and Dream of Red Mansion are well noted for their exploration of this theme. In comparison, Water Margin is more about class struggles. It stands in contrast with Romance of Three Kingdoms. One depicts the struggles of the political elite, the other depicts the struggles of the common people against the ruling class.
 

Hendrik_2000

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Xi is the only Chinese president who pay so much attention to Chinese cultural heritage. He is so steep in China's history. He believe in his heritage that can of man is strong and can face any turbulent in life
 

Hendrik_2000

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Sorry I mean Kind not can oh my typing is so bad
Anyway another heart warming story that show what it is that make a Chinese hard work, family, sacrifice, integrity. Tell the story of a woman who has to feed 9 people because her husband was ill and can't work. When China was poor and money is hard to come by She open a noodle restaurant using left over pork rind from making pork oil

In the memory of Nanjing residents, the first taste of pork skin noodles came from a small diner on the street, the 56-year-old "Qi's Noodle House." Chen Xiuying, founder of the noodle house, is 90 years old. Now the restaurant is taken over by her second daughter and the husband of her elder daughter, who are determined to stay true to the integrity and the original flavor. Chen and her family hope the noodle house can have its 100th anniversary, while witnessing the changes of this city and the country.
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Hendrik_2000

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Traditional Chinese
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garments have become more popular among young Chinese people, forming a profitable and promising market reportedly worth 1.09 billion yuan ($152 million).
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Traditional Chinese hanfu garments revived
Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/3 22:18:40

A photo from photographer Dangxiaoshi's Travel with Hanfu series Photo: Courtesy of Dangxiaoshi

Traditional Chinese hanfu garments have become more popular among young Chinese people, forming a profitable and promising industry in China.

According to statistics from China Central Television (CCTV) released on Monday, China's hanfu market has more than two million consumers, with a total industry scale of 1.09 billion yuan ($152 million).

According to reports, sales of hanfu garments so far this year have increased be 146 percent year-on-year.

Xie Jiayan, a hanfu enthusiast, told CCTV that she has bought 240 hanfu items since 2010, worth about 80,000 yuan in total. The most expensive one cost her about 6,000 yuan.

"There are many people like me who seldom wear fast-fashion clothes as hanfu is our first choice," Xie said.

In 2017, there were around 1,300 civil groups or organizations interested in hanfu culture around the world, but the number reached over 2,000 in 2019, Wang Jiawen, head of a hanfu culture committee under the Chinese Traditional Culture Promotion Society of Guangdong Province, said to CCTV.

As costume drama series and some videogames based on traditional Chinese style have become popular in recent years, hanfu enthusiasts have grown in number, analysts said.

Industry insiders noted that hanfu is closely connected with Chinese traditional etiquette and culture, and companies that produce hanfu goods should ensure the quality and standard of the clothes to avoid damaging the culture.
 

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