Most of you may not know but I am a TeoChew. So since I got tickets to the TeoChew Festival, I decided to squeeze out time on the last day to go "see-see-look-look". Usually I am not that busy, but because my parents were overseas, so I was pretty much bogged down by housework. (T.T)
I was quite glad that the exhibition was at Sands Expo and Convention Centre instead of Expo cos this location is a lot nearer to my house and...there are pokemons to catch. Kidding. At the entrance, there were a lot of "province flags" Didn't know that at first and was wondering why were people even taking photos of specific flags. Haha. #shallow
Most people I spoke to were there for the food. And so was I? It was pretty the first place the BF and I zoomed to. There were like so many people so it was really difficult to find seats. If you read most reviews online, you would now that the food is pretty expensive, especially those flown in specially for ShanTou (The queues for those food were really long too!) Just a small tip, you can exchange your tickets for a S$3 discount.
Like many true-blue TeoChew, I really love my TeoChew dishes. My favourite is the Or Ni. But one of the aunties told me it wasn't fantastic so I didn't have it. We had Lor-Ark (Braised Duck) and O Luak that was specially flown in instead. It was worth every penny and queue-time. And considering how Teo Chews treat all Teo Chews as family, the Aunties sharing our table also shared their Muah-Chee and Prawn Rolls with us. They even told me more about my heritage roots #FeelingTheTeoChewLove :)
We actually had Tang Yuan too, but they named it differently. I don't have much selfies to share this time round, cos they are all in my BF's phone. (T.T) And he doesn't seem proactive about sharing photos with me. Sigh.
At the festival, we didn't use cash. But instead we were supposed to use NETS FlashPay. And so I took the opportunity to get myself a cute NETS Flashpay card. There are 5 other designs inspired by the TeoChew Opera, but it didn't really make sense to get so many NETS card even if it is for collection. So just 1, for souvenir and to tell all cashier I am TeoChew. Haha.
There were also booths selling artisan's craft. They were pretty expensive so I didn't buy any. Was just satisfied to take photos and admire the works. I can't really find the embroidery art pieces and silk. I was very sure I took photos of them. Lost? Sigh. Was actually contemplating to buy a silk scarf for my Mum cos it was the only affordable thing there.
You must have heard of the "Si-Dian Jin" usually used the dowry. So...I probably will get my own set in future. Yeah. There were gold for sale too. But, I would likely get a huge smack from my Dad if I buy those (whether on impulse or not). Many of the aunties I spoke to actually for the Opera. Those artistes sang really well, like a lark. But we didn't have the time to sit down and enjoy. But we would still hear it in the distance as we were exploring the exhibition.
If you wander down the "old streets", you would also see stalls selling traditional snacks. I am not sure whether they are TeoChew though and also an exhibition on the life of the TeoChew forefathers. Overall, I would say that I actually know a lot about my heritage. And the aunties were very upfront about how I should start learning how to speak TeoChew. I am learning via eavesdropping and making pretty good progress. (My relatives are quite impressed with my snippets of TeoChew Lol!)
My budget for the day was S$50-S$100/pax. The biggest bulk of the expenditure was spend on food. I heard couples scolding their other half "Eat later, outside cheaper!" But you would really be missing out if you missed the food cos it is not the typical stuff you could find outside.
The activities are mostly free - Por Geh (Letters to send home) and Chun Lian. I designed both :) The queue are quite long but still shorter than the food. These were the nice, free souvenirs. I really wanted to bring home a Kueh Plushie, but it was so expensive. S$40!?! Part of me wanted to wait for the last hours sales (Yes, it pays to come on the last day!) But cos we had a party later, we really had to leave. T.T
Would have bought home a Kueh if it is 50% off. But fortunately, I got a another unrelated freebie that is so darn adorable. Yes a gas canister!! Overall, I really enjoyed myself and would likely make another visit next year. Hopefully, for 2017, I will be embracing my culture a little more, picking up interesting hobbies along the way. :D