To many seasoned and experienced Memory Corps members trained to study the photo with their minds' eyes like reading a topographical map to describe with details, this photo brings back to the moments of memories transported five decades ago at the scene of the Chinese wayang at Bukit Ho Swee where it actually happened...same, same but different!
Chinese "wayang" (translated as "opera" in Malay) was common in Singapore and the ways done in the past a century ago.
In the early kampong days before TV, hi-fi sound systems, video tape recorders or computers are found in almost every home for entertainment, the village children were looking forward anxiously to watch the Chinese wayang. It was like a carnival time for the kampong folks.
Like the young children in the photo watching the rehearsal in the hot afternoon.
It looks like a comedy scene on the stage which made the children laugh. The joy and the fun was natural, not a re-enacted synthetic scene of a TV drama directed from scripts. Most of the children were there for the games, goodies and toy stalls to enjoy the fun.
Brisk business for ice-cream on a hot day...
The game and toy stall at the Chinese wayang show in the 1970s.
According to the photo credit of National Archives of Singapore on this blog topic, the Chinese wayang performers were in Singapore in the 1890s.
Chinese wayang stage in 1890.
Chinese wayang performers in the 1890s.
A wayang stage at Lim Chu Kang kampong in 1978.
The residents "chop" (reserved) the best seats with chairs, stools and boxes before the wayang started.
Chit-chat before the show started.
Ice-cream vendors at the wayang stage.
Packed crowd to watch the Chinese wayang performance at the edge of the stage.
Below the stage, it became a playground for children running around the place.
The project on "The Chinese Stage" by students of Jurong Primary School at ThinkQuest to learn more.
The Backstage Scene
Dinner time for the performers.
The performers playing cards for recreation after showtime ended.
Dressing-up for the performers
Ways done for advertising on the Chinese wayang stages.
Chinese Wayang Show-Time
The traditional art of Chinese Wayang has survived over a century in multi-culture Singapore for generations.
The Chinese Opera Performance Night at Changi Simei Community Centre Multipurpose Hall on 23 March, 2010. Please click 'Slide Show' to view here .