Fascination with Culture
Call me a nerd or something, but I was always fascinated by the diverse cultures around the world. May it be western, eastern, northern and southern, if there is such thing, I would be very interested to learn more about it. I can’t say that I know a lot about it, but I could say a thing or two on the topic.
Last week, my colleague, Kim, offered us tickets to a Chinese cultural show. It was part of the Chinese New Year festival. It was entitled, “Cultures of China: A Festival of Spring“. My eyes lit up when I heard the word “cultural show”. As far I as remembered, I never had been to one. I was also missing Taiwan, although we haven’t got to witness the traditional side of the country aside from the temples and music, something close to it would do. Someone might argue that Taiwan is not China, yes, that is right, but you can’t ignore the fact that they still have the Chinese traditions and culture, even our very own Philippines have it.
Filipino-Chinese in the Philippines
You might be surprised (or not) that a great deal of the population here in Cebu are Filipino-Chinese. They might or might not have Filipino blood or ancestry. Most of them were immigrants from Mainland China and settled here, being naturalized as Filipinos. With the help of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of P.R. China, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu and the Cebu Filipino Chinese United Community, they organized this show for the Filipino-Chinese and Filipinos to witness a spectacular night of music and talent.
A Night of Chinese Culture
My expectations were not really high and I just want to enjoy the night. It started off with speeches from the VIPs (I forgot their titles). First, they said it in Mandarin and then translate it to English. I don’t know with others but I find the Chinese language quite amusing to the ears even though I only know Ni Hao and Xie Xie. I remembered watching Chinese commercials on TV when I was younger and would always laugh on how unique they sound. I am not making fun of it, I would gladly learn their language but it was difficult, especially reading the characters.
After the speeches, they opened the program with a dance depicting the decoration during Chinese New Year. The dancers with their red lanterns, danced gracefully on the stage.
The world-class performers were from China. They also have singers with very powerful voices. Even though we did not understand a single bit of the lyrics, the melodies were great. The songs were relaxing and reminds me the sounds of nature.
Musicians performed an array of wind and string instruments made from bamboo and other types of wood. I especially liked the pan flute. I could lull myself to sleep with this.
One particular dance number caught our attention due to the amazing visuals made by their sequined dresses and fluid dance movements. They were called the Souls of Water.
But one performance probably did not satisfy the audience, it was a bit funny and sounded ridiculous. At first, I was taken aback but I remembered hearing this type of opera from TV when I was younger. I know, I know. I was already watching this stuff since I was a kid, that is why I always argued that the TV is no piece of crap as opposed to others always say. By the way, it was a peking opera singer and it was a bit weird watching without all the costumes and acting but only the singer in his suit.
They ended the night with a patriotic song and a dance depicting the festivities around the world to the song of “Rio”.
I could say it was really an enjoyable night and all of the performances were spectacular. It ignited the cultured nerd within me (silently belching). Where could I watch this type of shows here? I could do a couple more of these.
Who says culture is boring? Ohhh, the “uncultured” ones…