Here’s a behind-the-scene video of the rehearsal:
It was a wonderful experience for us, listening again to the nostalgic xinyao (新谣) songs of Dr. Liang Wern Fook (梁文福). We enjoyed the musical so much that we bought the CD during the intermission and had been listening to it for the past few days.
The songs were cleverly woven into a narrative about Singaporeans chasing their dreams oversea, only to come back to Singapore where they belong after one big circle.
For just that one night, I paused for a moment and reflected about the wonderful things I love about this country where I am born. For that one night, I felt proud to be a Singaporean, something I had not felt in many years, irritated by the high cost of living here; the severe overcrowding; the compulsory conscription of all Singaporean-born males and the accompanying ten years of reservist; the lack of free speech and expression; the insanely hot weather; rude and kiasu Singaporeans; the list goes on.
There was a time when Singaporeans were proud of our language, heritage and culture. What happened to us now? Chinese Singaporeans who can barely speak Chinese and proud to be so; a country concerned only about economic growth and nothing else.
This musical set me thinking about Singapore much more than any extravagance National Day Parade which do not mean anything to me beyond showing off our military and economic prowess.
Go watch it if you can next year. Remember to book your tickets early. The musical had a sold-out performance last year and repeated the feat again this year. 🙂
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