Migrant workers show off their talents in cultural show

Ms Uchie Mudjiyati, a domestic worker who has been working in Singapore for 12 years, performs at the Migrant Cultural Show 2019 at Aliwal Art Centre.
Ms Uchie Mudjiyati, a domestic worker who has been working in Singapore for 12 years, performs at the Migrant Cultural Show 2019 at Aliwal Art Centre.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Mr Nizamul Haque, a migrant worker, performs at the Migrant Cultural Show 2019 at Aliwal Art Centre on Aug 25, 2019.
Mr Nizamul Haque, a migrant worker, performs at the Migrant Cultural Show 2019 at Aliwal Art Centre on Aug 25, 2019.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - It is not often that Ms Uchie Mudjiyati, who has been working in Singapore as a domestic helper for the past 12 years, gets to show off her dancing skills.

The 42-year-old Indonesian performed a traditional Javanese dance for an enthusiastic audience on Sunday (Aug 25) at the Migrant Cultural Show 2019.

The show, which lasted three hours, featured music, dance, drama and poetry performances by foreign workers from countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, India and the Philippines.

Around 120 guests attended the event held at the Aliwal Arts Centre.

Speaking to The Straits Times after her performance, Ms Uchie, who is single, said dancing has been her hobby since childhood.

"This talent show is a wonderful platform where I can share my dance with others and share my culture too."

She started practising for the show in June, using most of her days off for rehearsals.

"It's such a positive thing to be able to do on my days off. I really enjoyed it. I've also made many friends through this cultural show," she said.

 
 

The show, which is in its second edition this year, is organised by a group of migrant workers.

Organiser Fazley Elahi Rubel, a Bangladeshi safety coordinator, said this year's show includes more than 100 performers, up from last year's 90.

His fellow show organisers are Mr A.K. Zilani, 26, and Mr Shajib Ahmed, 27, from Bangladesh, and Ms Wiwi Tri, 35, and Ms Artika, 33, from Indonesia.

Mr Fazley, 31, who has been working in Singapore for 10 years, said the show is an opportunity to showcase the talents of migrant workers in Singapore.

"We are not just here as workers. There's such a vast range of skills and talent in different crafts among migrant workers here," he said.

The show, which took about four months to put together, is also a platform for cultural bonding.

"Right now, there are so many different groups within the migrant worker community, all from different countries. In this way, we can create friendships between the different communities, and hopefully people will gain a deeper understanding of one another, " said Mr Fazley.