Exploring new musical realms while living with a Chinese couple in Singapore

Chinese couple in Singapore

Music like money is acceptable all around the world. Wherever you go, music is accepted as a source of entertainment and as a way of achieving many other cultural objectives. Music is however very different among different communities around the world. The type of music played in any part of the world is hugely influenced by the cultures from which the music originates from.

I love music and I have always been fascinated by the different types of music. When I was a little boy I grew up listening to music, singing and playing musical instruments. I grew up in a tightly knit Christian family and every evening we would have a session of singing and praising the Lord with song. During this time we would also use different types of musical instruments to accompany our singing. We had a guitar, tambourine, an accordion, and a drum.

With time, I learnt to play the guitar which was my favorite instrument. I also learnt playing the accordion although I did not become as skilled as I was with the guitar. My singing was quite good thanks to my naturally gifted baritone voice.

I however did not put too much emphasis in my music skills since I considered it just a pastime hobby. At the time all the farce was about going to school and studying for other white collar jobs and my father made sure that we put our all into study. I chose to study for a pharmaceutical career.

I was a good student and I managed to get very good grades which won me a scholarship to study in Singapore. I was elated to get the scholarship. I had never been out of the country and I had heard that Singapore was a great place to visit.

Getting to Singapore, I managed to get accommodation with a Chinese elderly couple that offered to accommodate me for the entire length of my stay in Singapore. They offered me a common room where I could comfortably stay.

This was a very convenient arrangement for me. I realized that in Singapore, many of the locals who had extra or unused rooms in their HDB apartments would rent them out to people. In this way, the locals could earn some extra income through the rent.

The Chinese elderly couple was very friendly and I came to realize that they were also enthusiasts of music. The couple were proficient singers and they had an Erha – a two stringed bowed musical instrument, and a Dizi – a wind instrument that is similar to a flute. They often entertained me with their great music. I even got to learn how to play the Erha, but I simply could not grasp playing the Dizi. After some time, I bought a guitar from a local store and I would then join the Chinese couple as they sang.

My stay in Singapore was made much more comfortable and enjoyable by the hospitality of the Chinese couple who often welcomed me to join in some of the Chinese dishes that they prepared.