Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Tai Thean Kew Circus
The Great Tai Thean Kew Circus entertained the masses in post WWII Malaya for decades.
My grandparents spent 40 years of their lives devoted to performing, and my great-grandfather, Sze Bing Shen, built this circus post-war alongside others, to let the art live on. I grew up with their memories, but it was only in University, doing a social memories course in Sociology, that I realized this was a family story I needed to write about.
While this type of traditional Chinese Circus is no longer in existance in Singapore or Malaysia today, I hope to more than preserve, but to proliferate the memory of this part of Malayan history. Basing my book mainly on my grandparents oral histories, (and the process is hilarious as my grandfather and my grandmother contradict each other's memories, for example, how their romance started...) I am also hoping to gather the memories of others as well.
Please feel free to send this blog out to friends and relatives, and feel free to contact me if there are any stories to share about the Tai Thean Kew circus, or questions to ask.
Check back for updates as I proceed to write this daily!