Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Festival in Singapore

The autumn festival ended last Sunday. Chinatown was decorated. There were lantern competitions, lantern workshops, the city was decorated with lanterns at various places.
The legend behind the festival is that the Chinese defeated the Mongols in the fourteenth century. They gathered the citizens by sending messages inside a pastry called moon cake. So in this festival mooncakes are sold by tons. The traditional cakes have a filling of bean paste or lotus seed paste. But u also have ones with chocolates or ice cream inside inside. One of the local community centres organises each year a celebration at the Kent Ridge Park behind our house. My son Joy and I walked up to the place where the celebration was on. We heard some beautiful Chinese music by the army band being played on ancient musical instruments -- the music was wonderful........ Since this celebration attracts a lot of expats , they also had some English music. Now one of the songs was " I shall survive" and there was this European/ American lady behind me who was dancing and singing along and I was mulling over the thought -- why these words " i shall survive "-- why can't one live happily -- survival is like somehow managing to live. And I was wondering if my thoughts had to do something to do with our Indian / Asian culture --in the sense we do not use words like I shall survive -- our words are "jeeyo "-- flourish. Then there was dance (belly dancing!! I almost fell off my chair -- I never thought the day would come when I would be taking Joy along to see skimpily attired girls do belly dancing!) and we were given mooncakes to eat alongwith a fruit called pomelo and cold drinks. The mooncake is the main thing . I had not thought I would like it but it was okay. After that we lit chinese paper lanterns and walked in a group through the park to the bottom where they had organised more stalls. It was very very nice. I enjoyed it .

And then I saw this French movie called les choisters which was so nice so nice. Reminded me of the good foreign (art) movies Doordarshan used to show us with subtitles . Was now checking out on the movie and I found this link which shows scenes from the movie and also reviews the movie very nicely including the fact that the main character reminds u of Gorbachev. the movie had some wonderful wonderful music.