Singapore Getai - The Street Concert During Chinese Lunar Year 7th Month ‘Hungry Ghost Festival’ 新加坡独特的艺术文化 - 七月歌台
Getai, is a Chinese term ‘歌台’ which mean street concert or 'song stage'. Getai is a big part of our culture in Singapore and that is one of the activities during the Chinese lunar year’s 7th month (also known literally as Zhong Yuan Jie / Hungry Ghost Festival. Getai’s activities similar to street concert’s productions which having tentage, stage and backdrop set-up, live bands and the main soul of the event – the emcee and the singers. Usually held in the heartlands on makeshift outdoor stages, it showcases performances that are different from contemporary stage concerts with staples such as stand-up comedians who deliver their humor in Chinese or dialects (mainly Hokkien) and singers of all ages dressed in a wide array of dazzling costumes that are essentially colorful and glittery. Getais are a dying trade in Singapore, there are usually scantily clad performers who will sing hokkien songs as well as other kinds of talent shows. I am not sure whether it is an age thing or my perception has totally changed but i was actually looking forward to going to a Getai this month and to embrace whatever that comes with it. It has finally dawned on me that it is something that is quite unique to these parts of the world.
今天就让我来谈谈歌台吧! 嗯, 没错. 当我说我要去歌台的时侯, 有人用着质疑的眼光看着我问: 你这个年龄听什么歌台? 我不否认我以前很不喜欢歌台, 也跟很多的人一样觉得歌台就是给老人听的, 而且只有七月才会有歌台. 其实不是的, 原来一年 365 天可能有200 天都有歌台. 有时一天还不止一个地方有, 当红的歌星们都得纷纷跑台.
每年一到农历七月, 只要是在亚洲居住的华人就一定知道一年一度的中元节又来了. 中元节都是华人的一个重要节日. 农历七月, 新加坡像中国南方一些地区一样, 都会举行庆中元活动. 在中元节期间, 你会在新加坡各处看到临时搭起的舞台. 一到晚上, 主办单位就会在舞台上展开现场表演. 新加坡人称之为 "七月歌台". 歌台非常受欢迎, 整个七月每晚都有表演, 好不热闹. 歌台是一种常年举办的现场舞台表演, 但更常见于每年的农历七月中元节. 这种热闹的场合, 已经成为新加坡的文化特色, 让新加坡社会更具凝聚力. 当新加坡随着现代化的步伐不断前进时, 我们也应该思考如何保留这一民间文化, 也借此让新加坡保留更多的社会凝聚力. 如果您不想错失去一个体验真正民风的难得机会, 就不妨去凑凑热闹吧.
歌台是新加坡文化之一. 以前是, 现在是, 希望以后也是.
The stage is usually painted in bright colors and further compounded by colorful strobe lights. There is usually a host, who engages the audience with humor and the occasional crude reference. Some hosts are effectively multi-lingual, switching between various Chinese dialects and the 4 official languages with ease.
长久以来, 歌台便是新加坡华族庆祝中元的一种草根活动. 今年的歌台演出, 至今仍广受欢迎. 新加坡的中元节庆祝方式, 独具地方色彩, 别开生面. 整个农历七月的庆中元活动, 从一般民众在家中设祭, 到遍布新加坡大街小巷的大规模活动, 热闹非常. 这种来自民间的习俗, 正是华族文化传统的一部分, 但长久以来已融入新加坡的文化.
People from all walks of life come together and enjoy the performance.
这部以歌台文化为背景的电影 《881》受到许多新加坡人的欢迎, 说明了它贴近一般民众的生活, 而另一方面来看, 歌台文化实际上已成为新加坡的文化特色之一.
Friendly banter between host and performer had the crowd laughing along.
There is no need to understand the language used by the comedians and singers to enjoy a Getai performance because their body language and vocal dexterity will suffice to keep the audience engaged.
歌台是以临时的木制舞台搭建而成. 它可建在空地或草场上, 或是在神庙或建筑物的范围内. 表演者通常打扮得花枝招展, 并穿上亮丽的服装, 在现场伴奏下大展歌喉, 当天晚上的表演项目是由主持人带领.
我发觉, 歌台艺人的搞笑功力到了舞台上都被放大好几百倍. 他们真的真的放得很开. 有些艺人为了让观众更开心, 会故意开自己的玩笑, 也不介意别人开自己的玩笑. 有时我听了都觉得过分, 但他们却能一笑置之. 我真的很佩服.
Typically, temporary wooden stages are planted in open spaces or grassy fields, or indoors within temples and buildings. Performers are often clad in colorful, glittery costumes and perform familiar favorites to accompaniment of a live band. The younger performers are usually more bold in their dressing, favoring revealing outfits to the delight of the older male audience.
The backdrop of the stage is usually made of cardboard and clothes painted in bright colours, vibrantly illuminated by coloured spotlights.
Often, there would be song requests and dedications from the audience and the singers would usually oblige impromptu with their unique renditions. That is what makes the Getai an accessible experience. To appreciate a piece of authentic Singaporean culture, venture out of the city into the heartlands to catch the Getai, a not-to-be missed event.
虽然民众已为保留歌台文化尽力, 我希望政府能够以实际的行动, 协助推动和保留这种特有的本土文化, 支持歌台文化并不是在支持低俗的文化. 事实上歌台在保留方言上有特殊的作用, 也能增进不同方言族群和社区的凝聚力. 每一个社会都有其草根文化, 反映出小市民坚韧的生命力和不同的艺术魅力, 这些都值得我们去珍惜. 当我们在发展一个高雅的社会, 朝着国际大都会的目标前进时, 我们更应该需要草根文化来衬托, 以显示新加坡社会的特色和多姿多彩的一面.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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