It's Guan Yin's birthday today (2M19) and Hokkien Huay Kuan with Siong Leng Nan Yin group staged a Nan Yin concert in front of the Hokkien Huay Kuan building with the Tian Hock Keng opened for worship.
By 8pm, almost all the seats were filled up and some spare chairs were being placed.
For this concert, the troupe spared no efforts in getting the performers to dress in Tang Dynasty dresses - wow, they looked good, especially on the ladies!
The first song was in dedication to Guan Yin, singing praise of Guan Yin and telling about the three importants dates of celebration in honour of Guan Yin, 2M19, 6M19 and 9M19 (in lunar calendar, month-date)
This night was a night of the younger generation. The older members only performed on the first song dedicated to Guan Yin. The younger ones took over from there with the songs, ensemble and even one with a dance, all very beautifully cheorographed.
Thanks to Kevin Ang, he has produced an English edition pamphlet explaining about Nan Yin and Tian Hock Keng. I hope to be able to get his copy in pdf so that you could also download to read. In the next performance, perhaps, a similar copy in different languages could be made available in the internet.
An ancient song and music, an ancient language - the origin of Tang and the Hokkiens - have been preserved and today, thanks to the dedication of the Siong Leng Musical Association, we get to enjoy what our grandparents have been enjoying in the early years in Singapore.
See you there on 6M19? 1st August 2007. Bookmark in your diary!