Organized by Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan (潮州八邑会馆), Teochew Festival 2016 (潮州节2016) returns after two years to promote the rich culture and heritage of Teochews in Singapore. The event takes up 45,000 square feet of exhibition space at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, which is 1.5 times bigger than its inaugural event in 2014. Here’s 6 Things to Check Out at the Teochew Festival 2016.
The Teochew Cultural Zone (侨批文化馆) is a gallery that features artefacts of how early Teochew migrants communicated and corresponded with their families in China. Visitors can get a glimpse into the tough lives of early Teochew immigrants in Singapore through a display of Qiao Pi (Remittance Letters) from overseas Chinese in the 1800s and 1900s.
These overseas Teochews would send a portion of their income, no matter how meagre, along with a letter to family members back home in China. This combination of remittance and correspondence is known as Qiao Pi. Coolie Currency is also on display.
Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan has specially loaned some of these artefacts from the Museum of Overseas Chinese Remittance, Shantou China (中国汕头侨批文物馆). There was also a call for members of the public to send in Remittance Letters of their loved ones which is on display at the event.
Visitors can admire Teochew exquisite craftsmanship and watch live demonstrations by master craftsmen at the Traditional Arts & Crafts Zone. Crafts on display include beautiful lanterns, golden silk embroidery works, wood carvings and delicate ceramic tea sets, pottery & statues.
SK Jewellery, one of the exhibitors at the festival unveiled a stunning and intricate replica of the Teochew Si Dian Jin House, specially created for Teochew Festival 2016 this year. The concept of Si Dian Jin is pivotal in Teochew culture and is a part of Teochew wedding customs.
Food plays a crucial role in Teochew culture and heritage. Whether you love Teochew food or simply love food, enjoy a feast at the Teochew Food Street where foodies will be treated to an array of Teochew cuisines at the festival. The food street features 20 vendors comprising of homegrown Teochew eateries such as Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine and Chin Lee Restaurant, as well as food vendors from Shantou and Chaozhou, China.
A variety of tantalizing Teochew specialties such as Teochew Kuehs, Bak Kut Teh, Crystal Dumplings, Fried Kway Teow and Fried Oyster Omelette can be found, bought and enjoyed there. Some food and ingredients are air-flown directly from Shantou, China to ensure that visitors get to enjoy the taste of authentic and fresh Teochew cuisines.
There will be daily performances by award-winning performing groups such as Xiao Mei Hua Opera Troupe (小梅花艺术团) from Jieyang City, China. Xiao Mei Hua which garnered very good response at the last Teochew Festival was invited back to delight audiences this year.
Local arts group, Nam Hwa Opera Limited (南华儒剧社) will perform traditional Teochew operas while AFinger (一指团体), a hip hop group from Shantou, will perform traditional Teochew tunes with a modern twist of hip-hop and RAP music.
The organizers have also invited Teochew Eight Districts Association (柔佛潮州八邑会馆) from Johor Bahru as part of a friendly exchange of cultural influences across borders.
There’s a Teochew Delicacy Zone where you get to sample or buy freshly made Teochew snacks such as peanut candy and traditional Teochew mooncake. Other Teochew delicacies include Chinese New Year goodies or fish maw.
Don’t leave the festival without visiting the Souvenirs shop selling all sorts of Teochew Festival merchandise from umbrellas, bags, tea cups, candles made to look like Gan Gue to plushies shaped like Bung Gue and the boy & girl characters that you see in the first mobile game app developed by the festival called “Heng Heng”.
The “Heng Heng” mobile game app is specially created with the aim of engaging, entertaining and educating players about the Teochew culture through traditional Teochew pastries or “kuehs”. Besides learning about the origins of the familiar Teochew treats, one can also hear how each “kueh” is being pronounced accurately in Teochew in the app. The mobile game app can be downloaded free from Android Google Play and Apple App Store.
Tickets are available on sale on site at the event and at the following places:
– Chui Huay Lim Club (醉花林俱乐部)
– Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan (新加坡潮州八邑会馆)
– Thye Moh Chan (Paragon & Chinatown Point)
– All Toast Box, BreadTalk, Din Tai Fung, Food Republic and SK Jewellery outlets.
Each ticket comes with a $3 rebate only valid for use at the Food Zone (美食区) and Teochew Delicacy Zone at the festival in which visitors have to exchange their admission ticket in order to enjoy that. In addition, visitors can also enjoy full day parking at Marina Bay Sands at only $8 on weekdays.
To encourage cashless transactions, only NETS payment is accepted at the festival. Visitors can bring along their NETS card to make purchases or buy specially designed Teochew Festival NETS FlashPay cards on site.
These limited-edition NETS FlashPay cards are drawn with cartoon illustrations adapted from renowned Teochew operas and stories such as Su Liu Niang, Peach Blossom takes the Ferry and Reunion by the Well. These exclusive NETS FlashPay collectibles cost $50 for a set of 6 cards.