If you stay on the little island of Singapore, you will not be surprised to see a mosque, a temple and a church being built next to one another. Therefore, it’s not surprising to have a Christian wake (or funeral) being set up on the ground floor of a block of flats and the next day a Taoist wake. However, this is not the main point of my blog, which I admit that I’m digressing from.
Anyway, back to the Taoist wake which is being held at the ground floor (or affectionately known as the void deck) of my block. It is a rather grand affair with colourful flags and numerous blankets lining the entire driveway from the road, all the way to my block of flats. If you have been to my place, you’d know that it’s a LOOONNNGGG drive. So put your imagination to work and you will marvel and the sheer number of blankets. Not only that, you can’t even begin to imagine the NUMBER of cars parked on one side of the narrow road, leaving only a width of 1/2 car space for other cars to maneouver. Great estimation of space.
Now you realise the scale of this particular wake!! Being a Taoist wake, it entails a 24 hour (I hope not, but it really seems like 24 hours to me) of “singing” and chanting (I dearly wish that they have given the “singers” proper singing instructions, which is sorely lacking in this group). I hope I haven’t insulted them by thinking that it sounds more like high pitched screeching to me. Til now, I have not figured out why the “singing” has to be so high pitched, why can’t they get mellow tenors to belt out the songs instead of poorly trained sops. SIgh… Not only that, the well chosen instruments include cymbals (very generously used), gongs and other attention seeking ones.
They have certainly gained MY attention and my neighbours. Alas, it’s not enough for them. They just have to share their musical talents with my neighbouring… town. Huge AMPLIFIERS (yes! Really huge ones! Exactly like the ones you find at a pop star’s concert) have been brought in to maximise the effect!!! The marvel (or woes) of technology is now penetrating through my very walls, reverberating around my room.
I truly share the pain of the deceased and the people around them. At least I can muffle the sounds by closing all my windows. But, I simply pity the ones who have to be at the site for a prolonged period. However, the music may grow on them. Who knows??!!