Friday, August 1, 2014

Nanyin @ Kusu

This year, as part of the Singapore Heritage Fest 2014, Siong Leng participated in the Balik Pulau programme with a special performance at the Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong Temple on 26 Jul 14.

Usually, Siong Leng members and supporters would perform at the Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong Temple every year during the 9th Lunar Month, which is also the pilgrimage month for devotees to go to offer their respects to the Tua Pek Kong. This year, it is a special with one performance under the Heritage Fest.

The response from the public was overwhelming. About 200 people from the public got a place in the 2 ferries fetching them to the island at 6pm for a tour and Nanyin performance that temple at 8pm.

For many, it was a first time to Kusu, not to mention in the evening (the usual last ferry leaves at 6pm from Kusu Island) and to watch a Nanyin performance in the temple.

Although there was a light breeze, it was still humid and warm in the little temple, but many of the participants braved the conditions to experience a "kampong styled vegetarian meal" with a very traditional nanyin performance. There was a brief explanation on the history of how nanyin started and found its way to Singapore and other places where there are Hokkien people, as well as on the nanyin instruments that are played the same way since more than a thousand years ago.

To give the newcomers to nanyin, a spread of nanyin music and songs were specially chosen for them to appreciate the tradition as well as its adaptability to foreign music.

For many, it was a new experience.

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