Singapore's Peranakan play to be a love story

Wayang Peranakan, Gunong Sayang Association (GSA)'s performance to be on stage from Friday to Saturday, will be a love story for the first time this year, according to GSA.

The Peranakans, also known as Straits Chinese, are Singapore's most distinctive ethnic community. The group is a reflection of Singapore's multi-racial, multi-religion and multi-cultural social fabric. However, their culture faces the threat of obscurity because of globalization in Singapore.

Hosted by GSA annually in October since 1986, Wayang Peranakan offers the opportunity for the Peranakans to gather, celebrate and embrace their heritage which helps the community reassert their identity.

GSA will perform "The Hidden Truth" (Udang Sebalek Batu) as the highlights of this year to mark the association's 105th anniversary and Singapore's golden jubilee.

Generally speaking, the Bibik (the daughter-in-law) and the maid are standard characters in a Peranakan play. However, this year's performance tells a story of Daisy Tan and Jeff Koh, who grew up from childhood mates to become lovers despite their different family backgrounds.

Directed and written by veterans in the Peranakan theater circles, "The Hidden Truth" captures the imagination of theatregoers with its witty, poignant and insightful look into Peranakan traditions in contemporary Singapore.

"Through the medium of drama, music, dance and language young Singaporeans can be made aware of the richness of our Straits Chinese heritage." said Baba Walter Woon, professor of law at National University of Singapore and patron of GSA.