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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Funeral

Attended the mother of all funeral. I have participated in many funerals sometime as a kin of the deceased and some time as a friend of the deceased's kins but never one this size.

This was a traditional Teochew funeral and on 
Monday's night, the size of the 'Kong Ter' altar absolutely blow us all away. It was hugh. At least 3 storey high and the High Priest sat on something akin to a second storey. But of course it has to be big since the deceased was the Life Honorary President of the Seu Teck Sang Tong, a chain of traditional charitable monastery in Singapore and Malaysia and the deceased was known at one time as 'The Richest Teochew in Singapore'. That plus the other Sang Tong as in Boon Teck and Thong Teck also turned up made the sending one a gigantic 'party' to use the words loosely.

On Tuesday, at the actual funeral, things were a little bit more modest. No stilt walkers, no
 dragons but there was a modern chinese orchestra. Modern as in there was guitar, drum, keyboard but that also come with erhu, pipa and what's not. I guess music has gone fusion as well. And this group played well - much better than the band of motley old men playing the traditional pop  songs. But one thing about these bands. Don't they have any idea what the songs they are playing mean? I have heard 'Beautiful Sunday' being played at funeral before and today I heard 'When A Child is Born' (song by Johnny Mathis) played horribly by the old men band; Teresa Teng's Goodbye My Love (this one always bring a lump in my throat when I hear it at funeral); Auld Lang Syne (okay these 2 maybe appropriate) but the last one was believe it or not - Amazing Grace! I couldn't believe my ears - a Christian hymns at a traditional Chinese funeral!  It's enough to raise the dead!

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