9th October 2021 Dr Beena
Hello everyone. Today let’s discuss a rather unusual topic. Yeah, it is about Chinese Opera. My friend Cheng Hwai Jen painted this beautiful Opera Lady. However, in her view, the standard of this painting is that of someone who is five years of age☹. I disagreed with her. At last, she allowed me to post this painting so I could write my thoughts on it.
What is Chinese Opera? It is an amalgamation of various art forms but mainly a musical theatre that began in the early periods of China and reached its mature form in the 13th century under the Song Dynasty. It was the main form of entertainment for both rural and urban folks and has gone through a turbulent history.
Here I will describe what I remember. During the Ghost Festival, my father used to bring me to watch these Opera shows. Ghost Festival falls on the 15th night of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. It is a Taoist and Buddhist festival held in certain East Asian Countries. During that month, dancers, singers and opera troops performed live concerts on a temporary stage. The front row seats are left empty so that the ghosts can watch these performances😊😊. I always looked forward to this annual event.
When I reflect on these innocuous outings with my father, I comprehend how he introduced me to the various cultures without prejudice. Maybe that early exposure in my childhood helped me assimilate with other races with ease. As children, all we think about is fun and the next adventure😉😉. As my father had friends from various races, he would bring us to their festivals, and we loved them as there were lots of food😊. At that young age, I did not perceive diversity. Of course, we differed in many aspects like appearance, food, language and customs. But we spoke English😊 and that was all that mattered then. I never felt much different as I enjoyed eating different types of food from other races. Maybe food dissipates the differences😊. When we eat together, it allows conversation, and we absorb new knowledge better. I am not sure. Have you observed that food, music, and sports bring us together?
I would love to read about your experience when you tried the food of other races. Did that help you understand the customs and culture of other races? On that note, I wish everyone peace till the next musing 😊.