Friday, December 20, 2013

Chinese String Puppet Troupe (Heritage Trail of Pengerang)

In one of our temple visits in Pengerang ( 四湾凤山宫 at Kampung Sungai Rengit ), the temple was having a big celebration. Part of the celebrations is a chinese string puppet performance by the New Hokkien Opera Troupe. This performances are usually organised by temple management, clan associations for the entertainment of the audience or to honor the deities celebrated in this festivals.

Again, i am no expert in the area of temples and its beliefs but i am privilege to be welcomed to go backstage and take some photos of the Troupe's preparation before their actual performance.
The stage. Curtains not up yet !
Backstage. The troupe getting ready
Close up of a puppet
The sticks that are used later by the master puppeteer

Placing the beard on a puppet  

Placing the beard on the puppet
One do not often see such traditional heritage performances anymore especially in develop Singapore. It's heartening to see the Pengerang Chinese community holding on to its heritage and culture despite rapid changes in society. Will Chinese String Puppet performances disappear one day ? My opinion is it will likely face that threat, unless it can remain relevant and closely knitted with the community as the community progresses in the face of many external and western influences. Subtitles maybe ? or a more contemporary plot ??

Dragon Joss sticks burning with
Sungai Rengit in the background 
 四湾凤山宫
Related post
Pengerang Temples, posted on December 17, 2013
Pengerang Battery, posted on December 16, 2013
Day Trip to Pengerang and Sungai Rengit, posted on August 6, 2010.
Trip to Sebana Cove, Pengerang to watch fireflies, posted on April 9, 2007

Getting to Pengerang via boat
From Singapore, the place you can take the boat is at Changi Village Ferry Terminal. Upon reaching Tanjong Pengelih, Johor, there will be many taxi's that will be able to bring you to the major town nearby, (roughly at the cost RM$20 - RM$25 for 1 cab) Sungai Rengit. The ferry will only leave when there are 12 people available to board it. So try to go with a group of friends consisting of 12 pax. At the point of writing, it cost about $11 - $13 per pax for a one way trip.

1 comment:

aliah said...

String puppets come in all shapes and sizes. string puppet shows can be fun experience.
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http://www.marionettes-puppets.com/