Mid-Autumn 2008 kicked off with a rousing night of fireworks, dragons and lions, and dances galore, put up by some 700 performers, from as young as 5 years olds. It was another unforgettable night, not so much about moon cakes but of remembering Chinatown of the old by the young.
What must be stirring to many older residents of Chinatown must be the performance by the young remembering what it was like in Chinatown. It certainly conjured the days gone by, when children did not have the luxury of life as it is today. While the children still had the chance to carry lanterns, they would not have heard of the Brazilian Sambal performed by the Singapore Management University. While Cantonese might be the language of the day in this part of the Chinatown (where the People's Park Complex stands), tonight it was English and Mandarin. The song remembering Chinatown had some Cantonese in it, if my ears still tell me the truth.
Watching the performance, I could not help thinking that we have come a long way. Many of these young performers must have had one of their grannies or relatives who once upon a time had lived in Chinatown. It is indeed a good occasion to gather in Chinatown again, the source or water head of the Chinese diaspora from Chinatown in Singapore? In such celebrations, it is great to remember the people who have helped what we have arrived to today.
Ah, as I looked back at Chinatown of my childhood days and watching these kids performed, I thought to myself, it is and will be a Chinatown Redefined. Many would not have known about Chinatown that we know. But so long there are roots, the trees will grow, bigger.