Currently, we’re in the month of September, better known to some of us as the Seventh Month of the Chinese calendar. During this period, the Hungry Ghost Festival is observed. Here comes the interesting part: Ever been to a Getai or walked past one before? Otherwise seen clips on tv or photos in the papers?
I’m sure most of the locals have come across this event one way or another. Remember back in the days, where dancers and singers would strut onto stage with huge feathers decorating their costumes. How times have changed or rather ‘upgraded’ with additional features to new-age Getai. The performers include a much younger age group ranging from 4-20 years old these days. Moreover, performing acts have become more explicit and flamboyant. Some performers have their outfits reduced to bare minimum. Scantily dressed acts may boost entertainment value but is it appropriate as a form of public performance in Singapore? Does is substantiate the meaning behind The Hungry Ghost Festival?
(VIDEO BY STOMP,THE STRAITS TIMES,SEPT 2009)
One of the highlights this year is Pole Dancing. Not that I do not encourage such dances, I agree it has a certain level of difficulty and it takes a lot of courage for one to pick it up. But to perform Pole Dancing at such a festival seems rather inappropriate and insignificant. Some may argue that Singapapore did showcase such talents during the National Day Parade 2009. Yes, it is a growing interest amongst more than a handfull of us and portraying the different forms of dance during the Nation’s Birthday acceptable. However, let’s look at things from a micro perspective, what are children being exposed to when they pass by Getai(s)? How would families who practice conservative principles feel? The event should be respected and not deemed as one which only attracts ‘dirty old men’. Maybe some of the Getai fans and audience are purely enjoying the songs and everything would seem ‘okay’ during this festival. What I mean is, can you imagine an uncle dancing to the Cadubury Advertisement outside Lido, that would be strange isn’t it? Would people regard uncles dancing and cheering before the platform of the stage as one of concupiscence ? We would not want to promote the latter as such.
(VIDEO BY YOUTUBE,SEPT1st,2009)
(PHOTOS by STOMP,Sept 2009)
(Sept 2nd, PHOTO FROM forum.vr-zone.com)
‘ These changes show modernisation,not of prinicples,but of styles’
(Vivienne Wee,anthropologist at NUS)
As receipients,after the process of decoding..
What is the message Getai(s) want to amplify?