Stories of Chingay Parade 2019
3-year Chingay performer gives up her spotlight to support her team
By: Nur Alfiah Bte Rahman (Student of Republic Polytechnic)
17-year-old Eunoia Junior College student, Miss Anna Lim could spend her weekends studying or hanging out with her friends but she is one with a heart to give. She finds joy in helping others. Her weekends are spent helping out at the Chingay 2019 while coping with her studies.
When asked why she kept coming back for Chingay, she simply said that she wanted to contribute back to Chingay by helping the performers. Miss Lim, who was a performer for Chingay for the past 3 years, came back this year with a different job - a volunteer. Her new responsibility is to distribute food and drinks to the performers during their break time.
For Miss Lim, she believes that Chingay is a good opportunity for one to connect with people from all walks of life. The parade has allowed her to get to know and interact with people beyond her age group from primary school students to the elderly. She said: “I think it was a very enriching experience for me because I get to connect with different people of different age groups and different backgrounds and I likely won’t get a similar opportunity like this elsewhere.”
However, Miss Lim also mentioned that there were some students who volunteered because of the benefit that Chingay provides. She said: ‘’While I volunteered for the experience and friendship, I do know of some volunteers my age who are volunteering for Chingay to gain Values-In-Action (VIA) points. I don’t think that it is a bad thing as it was fun to see a mixture of volunteers who are spending time at the parade for various reason.’’
Aside from that, Chingay has allowed Miss Lim to appreciate the effort that has been put into the parade from a different perspective. “It really allowed me to appreciate not just the performers but the people behind the scenes who are guiding the performers because returning as a volunteer, I get to see the behind the scenes of the effort put into the performances. The parade committee went through many hurdles to ensure that everything is smooth,” Miss Lim explains.
Chingay also enables the performers who come from varying cultural backgrounds to come together to showcase how their culture can bring people together. Miss Lim said: “Chingay really enables people of all backgrounds, various cultures to come together and really showcase this vibrant arts scene in Singapore.”
To Miss Lim, besides forging new friendships with fellow volunteers and performers, what makes people continue coming back for Chingay is the lively atmosphere that the parade exudes. On this, she said: “The parade really brings out vibrancy, creativity and how beautiful the arts scene in Singapore can really be.”
Singapore Recreation Club glowing their history in Chingay 2019
By: Siti Nur Iffah (Student of Republic Polytechnic)
SRC’s softball players and staff all prepped for their second rehearsal. Photo by: Singapore Recreation Club
The 136-year-old Singapore Recreation Club, being one of the oldest social clubs in Singapore, is performing for the first time in Chingay 2019, on the 15th and 16th of February.
According to the Official Chingay Website, into its 47th edition, Chingay 2019 returns to the F1 Pit Building with the theme “Dreams Funtasia (Bicentennial Edition)”. Singapore’s uniquely multicultural streets and floats are back to stimulate spectators with the unlimited imagination of what Singaporeans can achieve and become in the future, in commemoration of the Singapore Bicentennial.
Known for their long history of 136 years in Singapore, Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) was specially invited to participate in this year’s Chingay.
Founded on 23 June 1883, SRC started off as the Straits Cricket Club in 1880. According to the Director of Public Relations in SRC, Ms Caroline de Guzman said that, the club was officially established in 1 July 1883 due to a group of 30 Eurasian men who wanted to play cricket. However, they were not allowed to play at the Cricket Club due to the white-men-only policy, making them start SRC. Sports like bowling, hockey and tennis were played, whilst cricket remained as the lead sport of the club.
Ms Caroline said: “Our dream from the time we started, was to allow our members to play all forms of sports. This is almost in line with Sports Singapore’s vision, which is to help bring sports into the lives of all Singaporeans. It is a continuation of what our founders wanted, which is to have a group of like-minded people come together and continue to play sports.”
In the performance, SRC members will be dressed in their sporting attire, in red, black and white, to promote their vision, while dancing with LED finger lights throughout the F1 Pit. There will be 28 members of SRC partaking in Chingay 2019, along with three admin support stuff that will be helping out with the logistics and planning of the performance.
Mr Ismail Bin Mohwan, 56, a maintenance staff in SRC said: “I have been watching Chingay on broadcast during the previous years and now, I have the opportunity to participate in it, along with SRC after 15 years of working with them.”
“Chingay will definitely raise the level of exposure and also, we want to remind people that we existed on the Padang because of sports,” said Ms Caroline.
Wheeling into the CHINGAY PARADE
By: Chng Ching Yee Jewel (Student of Republic Polytechnic)
Two Wheelies performers donned in bikinis drew laughs and smiles from the crowd. Other costumes for The Wheelies included a dinosaur and a unicorn. Photo By: Vicky Lui Hai Qi
Most people may frown at the mention of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), with errant users, loud music and unsafe speeds coming to mind. However, The Wheelies showcases PMDs in a different light.
An active participant in the annual event since 2014, The Wheelies will be performing in their own parade segment for the first time in this year’s upcoming Chingay Parade. Participants will ride through the area on their electric unicycles (EUCs) donning different types of costumes and performing stunts individually and in pairs.
The Wheelies is Singapore’s largest electric unicycle group, with over 4000 members. They are certainly not new to large-scale events, having performed in other national events such as the Singapore Night Festival and SHINE Festival. The community’s effort in boosting the popularity of EUCs in Singapore was acknowledged continuously by the People’s Association who invited them to perform at the Chingay Parade year after year. Despite having participated in many events, their performances are always innovative and entertaining to watch.
Thomas Hoon, the founder of The Wheelies, hopes that their continuous involvement in national events such as the Chingay Parade will put PMDs in a good light in Singapore. He said: “I’m always concerned about the welfare of the community. I think [events] like this will bring good publicity and press to the PMDs and, in particular, to the EUC, which is the community I represent.”
For this year’s performance, the group decided that rather than just performing a set choreography, they wanted to demonstrate that many easy stunts can be performed on wheels. They also showed that wheeling was a family-friendly activity, with younger riders aged 10-18 participating in the parade. The group captivated the audience with various inflatable costumes and tricks on their wheels. Even during the pre-parade, some wheelers livened things up by riding through the crowd for the Chingay Wave amidst loud applause and cheers.
The group has held five practices since November 2018, with each session lasting around five hours. They go through their choreography repeatedly during the rehearsal and make minor changes following the leader. Some riders even paired up to perform small tricks such as spinning together. The rehearsals are also a way for them to bond with each other and form stronger relationships. The group meets for breakfast together before their rehearsal and often wrap up with lunch afterwards.
One challenge posed for the group was the inflatable costumes they wore. With the costumes, some riders were unable to see their feet and had to battle against the wind resistance to find their balance. Despite this, the group managed to put on a spectacular show during the performance.
Xavier Basile, a first-time performer at the Chingay Parade, reflected: “Rather than performing at Chingay itself, I feel that the most memorable part is that because of Chingay, we gather together and do the things we like. It’s like a bonding experience for us all.”