Sunday, April 24, 2011

Teochew Food & Culture: A Visit From Singapore to China!

Food Nation: Teochew from Mak CK on Vimeo.
Food Nation is a TV show (web or broadcast?) that covers, yes, food. This 45 min episode is all about Teochew food. They compare all the Teochew foods that Singaporeans are used to eating with the versions in the Teochew homeland. On the way, they also get to experience other aspects of Teochew culture. It's a great primer on Teochew culture actually, particularly for anyone who doesn't know what to say Teochew culture is about... my only qualm about this otherwise awesome find is that everyone speaks Mandarin except for two or three people (The kid in the beginning, the oyster fisherman, an the Singapore blogger who says "Sua:" and "Hài") [that was pretty cool by the way - his explanation about the muē, heh heh) Here's what you'll get a taste of.

Oyster Omelette Ọluat
Yam Paste Ọunī
Braised Goose Lọghō
Teochew Woodcarving
Kungfu Tea Gang-hudē
Bamboo Dumplings Sungguè
"Mouse Shell Gue" Chéukākguè?
Kaiyuan Temple and Xihu
Teochew Opera Diọgiāt
B-boy dancing
Rice Porridge Muē

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guiyu, E-waste Epicenter is near Sua:tāo!

Have you heard of Guiyu 貴嶼, e-waste epicenter of the world? Back in 2008 there were lots of reports of this electronic graveyard and environmental disaster site located somewhere in Guangdong, and at the time I found out, to my dismay, that, guess what, it's in Diọjiu (Chaoshan). It's in Sua:tao County, halfway between Póulēng and Diọ-iō: I was aghast! You hear about all sorts of environmental disasters and problems around the world, but you never REALLY think about them until it's in your backyard or affecting people you know.

Does anyone have any information on what is going on in Guiyu in 2011? Has anyone ever been there? I also wonder if the people doing the dismantling are all local Diọsua: people or are there folks from other provinces who come here just to do the work. Questions, questions, questions. Also, what can we do to help? For me, I'm going to try to limit my technology purchases to what I absolutely need, not buying anything just because I want the latest and greatest. Also, the stuff I already have I will try to find a responsible e-waste recycler. Thinking back I have dumped the following: a Compaq Presario (it was a monster), a CRT monitor or two, a flatscreen monitor, 3 or 4 keyboards, 3 or 4 mouses, wires and cables plenty, a NES, SNES (or maybe I sold them), and countless other electronic devices... it's kind scary that I'm typing on a little flat box of poison. 

Check out the stories done of Guiyu back in 2008 from CBS's 60 Minutes and Greenpeace. The one from Greenpeace even has a picture of gang-hudē made from the local Guiyu water which is black. UGH. It was so black I thought it was a teacup cover.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teochew Opera in Thailand

I have to be honest. I don't like Teochew Opera, and among younger Teochew people, I don't think I'm alone. I've seen a couple of performances, but it just seems so not-real-to-life, like of a different age. Perhaps if they took the same stories but put modern twists to them it would be more appealing. Also, there is certainly a language barrier - the Teochew used is quite chim (deep), not colloquial at all. A couple of years back Gaginangers volunteered with the local Teochew Opera Association down in Southern California, and it was great to get exposure to it. I was even asked if I wanted to train in it - alas, it's not my cup of dē.

This video report is from CCTV (China), and done in English. It's a nice little encapsulation of the dying art in Bangkok. I hear that many of the actors aren't even Teochew anymore, but Thais or others from rural areas - I guess they just memorize the Teochew. Perhaps some of the operas are put in Thai as well. Also, I posted a Thai serial drama that has Teochew Opera as one if its main devices, you can find that here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Old School: Uà sị Diọjiunāng

Ah Niu and his buddy created a whole album (the name escapes me.. but i think the album name might be the name of this song too) of Teochew and Hokkien songs back in the 90s. They're both from Malaysia, and the name of this song is 我們一家都是人 We are all one family of people. It's particularly interesting to me because it uses both Hokkien and Teochew in the same song, and yet I can understand both. In Malaysia and Singapore, Teochew and Hokkien is very very similar. Enjoy this blast from the past. I like the kiddy illustrations.

* Is that a dress that they are calling "mua:"? I'd call it gūng.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teochew Rap Anyone?

Okay people, are you ready for it? Teochew rap.... YES. I'm sure if you go to Diosua: there is actually a pretty big hip-hop/rap scene, with a quite a bit of interest in making music in Teochew. I've included three artists that I found on the internet. The latest two (that I found) is from MC BLS and 貓貓 CAT. 西社金牛, I found back in 2007. His song is ridiculously fast (Cat's rap part is fast too) - I think I can only attempt the choruses of both songs. I honestly don't understand most of the songs - it would require me to do some translation. In any case, it's just great to see (hear!) what can be done with our language.

尚浪險 (Siạng Lạng Hiàm) by MC BLS

汕尾女孩 (Sua: Bhuè Néung Hai) by 貓貓 CAT

酒肉茶話 (Jiụ Nēk Dẹ Uẹ) by 西社金牛(Sai Siạ Gim Ghū)