March 26, 2008


A fortnight ago at the street opera at Sims Drive, a group of women were waiting for the opera to start. They looked like the type that watch cantonese opera regularly. They were looking at a flier about a coming show by a HK sheng partnering a SG dan.

"You know this dan? Singapore one."

Don't know"

"Don't know"

"Don't know"

"Don't know"

This was not first time I heard this. It quite baffles me. Many local Cantonese opera fans don't seem to know local artistes except for their friend performers and a few top names.
These people don't watch shows by local artistes? Or they just can't remember?

In this case the dan has been quite active, at least in recent years with a few 'big' shows at Kreta Ayer People's Theatre.

In this respect I am much better. I know the well-known ones as well as many of the less-known ones. Generally I remember artistes who have been performing regularly and new artistes who have performed well. Now I also know some local Xiang Opera artistes, Liyuanxi artistes and Nanyin performers.

March 12, 2008

Health survey

Last week I was waiting for registration at the polyclinic. A group of youths were looking for people to help them do some health survey. A pleasant girl approached me. I said ok.

She got ready some forms. She said, ' Sir, you volunteer to do this, right? '

' Yes, ' I said. Actually I did not volunteer lah. She asked and I agreed. This is not volunteer, right.

' I also didn't point a gun at you, right? ' She pointed her pencil at me.

Hahaha, very funny I thought. But she kept a straight face.

Then she started asking the survey questions.....

'Why don't you give me the form and I fill up for you,'' I said.

'Cannot, this is special form. You have to shade the answers in pencil,' she said.

And so it went on... quite a detailed survey... finally...

'Thank you, Sir.'

'Finished already? You said got sensitive questions?'

'Asked already.'


There were no questions on sex or illnesses. I don't know which were the sensitive questions.

Announcement: This blogger is taking time-off from blogging. There will be no new entry in this blog for about 2 weeks.

coming attractions

March 08, 2008

舞台仙子 - 花旦

This video is about hua dan, the qualities a good hua dan has and the skills a professional hua dan has to learn. It is in Cantonese with Chinese subtitles. There are other episodes about the sheng and other characters and topics in Tudou.

March 06, 2008


I was reading a news item in which Ngiam Tong Dow said something about vocabulary. It made me think of what my English teacher in secondary school said. He said that most people have a vocabulary of about 2000 words, which is sufficient for general use. By the way, all my English teachers from sec 1 to sec 4 were males. So were my Maths teachers in secondary school and Pre-U.

He didn't say where the information came from. Has this number changed now?

Actually to increase your vocabulary you need to put in determined effort. For example, when you read an article or a book and you like certain words, write them down and find out their meanings.

Or you can make a resolution to learn some new words every week.
You can just flip the dictionary to any page and pick a word that you fancy. Don't be too ambitious. Learning English is a slow process. Start with 3 words. Even with 3 words, after 1 year your vocabulary would have increased by about 8%. Haha, better than any return from other investments like bank deposits.

Now, although you know the meanings of these words you may not know how to use them yourself. If you are a student, use them in your compositions whenever you have the opportunities.


During a class discussion, a lecturer told us ' there are at least a dozen verbs you can use instead of walk '.

I have thought of this before. I was pondering about this again. With the help of a dictionary, I found these words:

limp, stroll, tiptoe, swagger, stagger, march, hobble, wobble, shuffle, stride, strut, hurry, scurry, inch..........
Hahah, thanks to the fugitive JI leader, now I think every Singaporean knows limp.

If you think of more words please add in to share with us.

March 04, 2008

Recent performance

at Lee Foundation Theatre, NAFA Campus 3.

Pictures: Tung Onn Orchestra and some group photos.....

Nothing much to write about. Just 2 things:

1. There were 2 pairs of artistes from Australia (Chinese ladies) who sang two very looong songs. Surprisingly, they sang very well and with a lot of action, motion and emotion but without song scripts. The compere said that one of them can't understand Chinese. I take this to mean she can't read Chinese but can understand Cantonese which is not very unusual. But if she can't understand cantonese as well but memorized the whole song by heart, then it is really remarkable.

2. One elderly lady said that the theatre is not suitable for Chinese opera. Her reason: Chinese opera audience are old people and they don't like the steep steps in the theatre. I think if older fans have no leg problems it should be ok, but they must walk carefully lah. I didn't see that many old people in the theatre. Haha, but with longer life span, in future you may see fans of 80+ or 90 in the theatre.

But a good thing - the steep ascending rows of seats means that you will not be blocked by the heads in front of you.

Finally, a short clip for your entertainment. Quality not so good. Anyone who wishes to donate me a good video cam please leave a note in the comments.