Hokkien clan group showcases traditional activities in online 'temple fair'

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee (centre, in pink) at the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Spring Cultural Showcase, on Feb 13, 2022. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
A guest at the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Spring Cultural Showcase doing craftwork with red packets. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - To bring the "temple fair" experience to those at home, activities such as red packet lantern-making and gongfu dance were featured online on Sunday (Feb 13) as part of a showcase of Hokkien and Chinese cultures.

The Spring Cultural Showcase was held by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (SHHK) in celebration of the Year of the Tiger.

More than 200 people, including SHHK members and teachers from affiliated schools, joined the activities via Zoom. Fifty guests, such as the association's board of governors and committee members, attended the event at the SHHK Cultural Academy.

SHHK president Thomas Chua said the association aims to uphold traditions while encouraging innovation and progression with the times.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted face-to-face interactions, and therefore we must harness the power of technology to maintain connections with more than 5,000 members, close to 1,000 school staff as well as our partners," he added.

Other activities included an introduction to Chinese musical art nanyin, a session teaching Hokkien songs and traditional slang, and another for Hokkien nursery rhymes.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee, the guest of honour at the event, said in a Facebook post that it was heartwarming to see how Chinese culture and tradition have been "passed on through the centuries to the current generation".

"(The SHHK) has uplifted the lives of many Singaporeans, not just the Hokkiens or Chinese, but other ethnic groups too, through its support for education and social welfare since 1840 - that's 182 years ago," said Mr Lee, who is also Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration.

In his speech at the showcase, he thanked the association for helping with Temasek Foundation's distribution of masks and hand sanitiser at more than 10 community centres, and for encouraging seniors to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

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