Digital Chingay to celebrate hawker culture with TikTok dance challenge

Hawker culture will be celebrated at the digital Chingay parade this year in true social media fashion - through a dance challenge on popular video-sharing platform TikTok.

From Feb 5 to 14, and on Feb 20, the day of the event, people will be able to submit videos of themselves dancing along to a jingle celebrating hawker culture penned by local composer Goh Kheng Long.

This comes on the back of Unesco's recent addition of Singapore hawker culture to its list of intangible cultural heritage.

The jingle takes inspiration from the sounds of local hawker culture.

Mr Goh, who also wrote several other songs for the Chingay parade this year, said of his jingle: "The year 2020 saw a lot of changes to our lives but I realised one of the things that could stand the test of time, given whatever situation, was our hawker culture.

"Bustling sounds of order-taking, clanging plates, food sizzling on heated woks all make up a symphony of sounds which was the inspiration for the jingle."

For the challenge, participants have to video themselves dancing to the jingle with as many household items as props as possible.

They will then have to use the hashtag #hawkerculturejingle, and nominate two friends to carry on the challenge. The top 20 most-liked videos on the platform will each win a $100 Lazada voucher.

Participants can also submit videos of themselves doing the challenge on Feb 20 between 8pm and 9pm.

Submissions are to be sent via WhatsApp to 8882-1004 in the following format:

Full Name_Last four digits of your NRIC_E-mail address - for example, Tan Ah Meng_321A_ahmeng@gmail.com

Three winners will be selected and each will receive a staycation worth $1,000.

This is the first time in 49 years that the annual parade will take a digital form. A tradition unique to Chinese culture in Singapore and Malaysia, the Chingay parade is a celebration of the birthdays of Chinese folk deities. This year's digital parade will also include events like singing and float-building, all done through virtual submissions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2021, with the headline 'Digital Chingay to celebrate hawker culture with TikTok dance challenge'. Subscribe