Saturday, 12 July 2008

Teo Chew Opera in my backyard

You can never know what will end up in your backyard. Right behind our house is a huge open space overgrown with long weeds and "forget-me-nots". A few days ago contractors started cutting the grass and we said, finally the developer is doing something after our complain. Then one day after work, to our surprise temporary sheds and a stage had been set up. And right now the Teo Chew Opera is in full swing despite the brief shower. At the same time the repetitive monotonous drums and cymbals for the other concurrent activity is going on. Yes, it is the season to celebrate the birthdays of dieties. And it is happening right in our backyard.

We are not too upset though. So far, not too loud and no Karoake singers screaming away. In fact, I have been having fun, shooting the opera actors. I am pure Teo Chew but I can't follow the story. The troupe is from China and look really professional. I particularly had fun watching the facial expressions during the show. Here's a selection.

Huh, you didn't expect this one, did you?
This was taken this morning right after the Penang Governor's Birthday Honours Award Ceremony.
That's our Squash Queen, Dato Nicol David, youngest Dato at 25 years of age.
Seen here with a fan, sitting down 'cause her feet hurt ... guess from what? High heels, of course.

That's me and my partner all dressed up, after the Award Ceremony.
Notice I am not the one with the medal.

It was a Black Tie event and all males are supposed to wear black, and I mean really black from top to bottom. I had to get the ready-made coat and had the matching pants made in 24 hours. But I noticed that one of the Penang EXCO members was not even wearing a dark suit, must less Black. I guess the guards had no guts to stop the VVIP - double standards just like Parliment with the short-skirt fiasco. Sorry don't have a photo to prove it but the organisers planted spies in the audience and tell people to not take photos. I don't understand this stupid rule - same thing with the USM Convo. This is my first time at such a ceremony but the veterans (they have been there 4 or 5 times) tells me that the Chief Minister spoke too much (too long lah) they got a little bored. This time around, the Penang Government I am told has slashed the number of awards drasticly. The various associations had submitted more than 200 names for Datukships and most of them were rejected. How do you get Datukships? The sceptics say that these awards can be "bought" but I know personally some of these are community leaders who have put in 10 or 20 years heading School Governors Board and spent a lot of time and money raising funds for schools, associations and communities. Congratulations to all the deserving recipients.


PJ said...

i remember watching teo chew opera with ah mah. it was fascinating to watch. good to know that the tradition is still alive.

wah aunty mn received a medal!!

maybe next year will be your turn for a medal, uncle lm.


zubin said...

i wish to see more of this teowchew opera, tapi kat KL tak ada dah. How to see in Penang?