Friday, December 27, 2019

吃风 Makan angin

年底到了,国人有出国“吃风”的习惯。

风可以吃吗?可以的。我们的马来朋友去观光,叫做makan angin,就是“吃风”。

我的青少年时代到樟宜海边,触目所及华人和马来人各居半。如今周末的樟宜与东海岸以马来人居多,有些已经不像从前那样铺上一块帆布席地而坐,而是搭起现代化的帐篷遮阳挡雨。有些则带着可折叠的椅子小木凳,一家大小玩到夕阳西下,收拾东西唱着回家。

马来同胞跟从前一样,喜欢到海边郊游,那里海风阵阵,所以把游玩观光称为“吃风”。


(周末的东海岸,游人以马来同胞居多。)

相信新马华人的“吃风”引用的是源自马来文的外来词,就是旅行、度假的意思。

有人表示,马来人的吃风来自中文。根据汉语词典,清朝黄遵宪《不忍池晚游诗》:“银鞍并坐妮妮语,马不嘶风人食风。”钱仲联笺注:“粤人以御车兜风为吃风,吃俗字,此以食代之耳。”

黄遵宪曾出任清朝派驻新加坡总领事,文中的广东人吃风,到底指的是广东的广东人,还是南洋的广东人,无法考证。若黄遵宪的不忍池指的是东京上野公园,那就更玄了。

如果马来文借用华文的外来词,那么应该是采用同音的吃风,而不是makan angin这个原词。

以前,本地人多数居住在市区一带,有钱人则在郊区海边建立别墅,周末驾着车子到别墅吃风,所以这些度假别墅也叫“吃风厝”或“吃风楼”。

吃风是很写意的事,至于“喝风”就没那么自在了。“喝西北风”形容没饭吃,只好饿着肚子。“饮风餐露”形容喝的是风,吃的是露水,这样的旅途你说还写意得起来吗?


(勿洛尾的勿洛大酒店,为出国吃风的游客提供住宿。)

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Friday, December 20, 2019

River of Life – We & Singapore

This article was written for the purpose of River of Life: Singapore River Exhibition (生命之河——新加坡河), 2 December to 31 December 2019 at library@esplanade.

Introduction


Singapore River is a 3.2km waterway stretching from its mouth to Kim Seng Bridge. The river serves as the heart and the main artery of the island, providing a lifeline for almost 200 years even up to today.

The decorated history of the Singapore River has seen massive transformations. However, the Singapore River has never once strayed from its role as a river of life for Singapore.

The first transformation: Temenggong village and swampy land at the Singapore River’s mouth evolved into lighter trades, supporting the Singapore economy for over one and a half century.

The second transformation: After a massive clean-up, the once busy Singapore River was converted into riverside dining and entertainment.

The third transformation: In the 21st century, the Singapore River, Kallang River and Rochor River become a combined city reservoir providing clean water for the city state.

Major Timeline 


1299 The ancient Temasek was named Singapura (“Lion City” in Sanskrit) by Sang Nila Utama when first set foot on the island.

1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles of the British East India Company established a trading post on Singapore island.

1823 The first quay on today’s Boat Quay was constructed.

1832 Singapore displaced Penang as the capital of Straits Settlements. The port attracted thousands of migrants from China, India, Malay Archipelago and other parts of Asia.

1840s Shipping activities were concentrated at the mouth of Singapore River and along the crescent-shaped Boat Quay. A supplementary trading area was established at the Rochor and Kallang rivers to help ease initial congestion.

1860s The Singapore River was heavily congested as three-quarters of Singapore’s shipping business was conducted in Boat Quay. Wharfs were built at Tanjong Pagar (the New Harbour) to ease shipping demands in the river.

1869 The opening of the Suez Canal increased Singapore’s importance as a centre of the expanding trade between the East and the West.

1890s Warehouses, rice mills, sawmills, boat yards, and an assortment of other trades flourished along the river.

1930s The areas closer to the upper reaches of the river were heavily industrialised with warehouses and shophouses. For example, Tan Kah Kee established his company Kiam Aik to deal in rice and later rubber at the junction of Coleman Bridge and River Valley Road.

1972 The first container berth at Tanjong Pagar was operational. As Singapore was moving into the direction of being a container port, the centre of focus was shifted to Tanjong Pagar.

1977 A master plan for cleaning up Singapore River and Kallang Basin was drawn.

1983 The rivers’ clean-up commenced in full swing.

1987 The stone-walled banks of the river were repaired and new buildings and hotels were constructed. Old-time riverine and quayside businesses gave way to modern life style.

2008 The Marina Barrage, a new addition to the Singapore River, was completed. The Singapore River was converted into Marina Reservoir.

(Marina barrage at the far end, seperating the open sea and the reservoir in the city. )

Singapore River was already filled with life when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles landed


When the British arrived in Singapore in 1819, the Orang Laut, or sea people, were already settled around the river mouth. About 20 gambier plantations in Singapore were run by Chinese and Malays.

As the name suggests, Orang Laut lived by the sea. Small sampans doubled up as their living quarters and transport.

The Orang Laut witnessed first-hand Sir Stamford Raffles’ landing in Singapore.
“At the time when Tuan Raffles came, there were under one hundred small houses and huts at the mouth of the river…About thirty families of Orang Laut also lived in boats a little way up the Singapore river at the wider part. About half of the Orang Laut lived ashore and half in boats….There were a few Malays who lived near, their huts facing the sea…The men that lived in boats were the first to see Tuan Raffles coming. I remember the boat landing in the morning. When they landed, they went straight for the Temenggong’s house.”
---Wa Hakim, an Orang Laut eyewitness to the Founding of Singapore in 1819.

From lighter trades to reservoir in the city


In 1823, offices, warehouses and jetties were built along Boat Quay. With economy thriving, subsequent developments continued up-river near the source of the Singapore River at Alexandra Canal.

At that time, Singapore’s main exports relied on silk, porcelain, tea and rice from China; spices, coffee and gold dust from the Celebes; pepper, ironware, cotton and textiles from other parts of Asia. Gambier and opium trades dominated the river economy by the mid of the 19th century.

The influx of immigrants and growth in trade had consequently polluted the river. Early industries set up by Singapore River also played a part. These industries include preparation of nipah leaves for cigarette wrappers, gambier processing for the tanning and dyeing industries, sago production, seaweed processing and etc.

(Singapore River in early 20 century. Old Elgin Bridge is an iron bridge prior to present day's concrete structure. c.1900.)

In its heyday in the 1950s, there were more than 3,000 lighters operating on the river. About 300 lighters plied along the Singapore River even when the lighter economy was dwindling. Riverine activities such as boat building and repairs were also found at the upper reaches of the river. Waste, oil spills and wastewater from these boats also added to the river pollution.

The rivers clean-up master plan was formalised back in 1977.  The master plan also focussed on changing people’s way of life in order to remove the sources of pollution. For Singapore River, it involved the relocation of about 4,000 squatters into public housing, along with hawkers and vegetable sellers moving into hawker centres. Cleanliness was restored after 10 years of massive work.

The Marina Barrage, a new addition to the city life, was completed in 2008. The barrage provides water storage, flood control and recreation. Singapore River, alongside Kallang River and Rochor River, has turned into one of the 17 reservoirs in Singapore today,providing 10% of Singapore’s water consumption.

Lighters 


The Chinese-crewed lighters plying the Singapore River are called “twakow”. They first appeared on the river in the second half of the 19th century. By 1900, they had displaced the “tongkang” as the vessel of choice for transporting cargoes to and from oceangoing ships anchored in the harbour.

Influenced by traditional Chinese designs, the squat-looking craft had a wide hull with an almost flat bottom designed for carrying heavy loads in shallow waters. Their colour schemes followed those Chinese junks in the Qing Dynasty era. The bows of these boats were painted in red or green, each with a pair of fish eyes to ensure safe journeys. The bows from the Guangdong province (including Teochew) were red and those from the Fujian province (Hokkien) were in green.

Today, the river banks are reclassified into 3 segments: Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay. In the good old days, Clarke Quay was dominated by the Teochew people, and the other quays were dominated by the Hokkien.

For those single twakowmen, lighters were better place to stay than the cramped cubicle or duckling bed in a “coolie keng” (coolie lodging house). They cooked, bathed and slept on their lighters. Some lightermen would prefer to live outdoor under Read Bridge.

(Coolies working together to carry a heavy object to shore. c.1950s. Source: Internet.)

Singapore stone once stood at the river mouth


The Singapore Stone with undecipherable inscriptions is a proof of Singapore’s ancient beginnings. The stone was discovered at the river mouth in 1819 during the reclamation of the swamps. In 1843, it was blown into fragments to widen the mouth of the Singapore River, and make space for fort and living quarters. One of those pieces is shown in the National Museum of Singapore.

The slab may be linked to the legendary story of the 14th-century strongman Badang, who is said to have thrown a massive stone from Fort Canning Hill to the mouth of the Singapore River.

(The Singapore Stone is a  large slab, which is believed to be dated even before the 14th century, bearing a still undeciphered inscription.)

Bridges on Singapore River


There are 12 bridges lining from the upper reach to the mouth of Singapore River. Collectively, they tell the story of the growth of Singapore.

The Elgin, Cavenagh, and Anderson Bridges which stood at the Singapore River's historic mouth for decades, are collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument.

Elgin Bridge

The first wooden bridge across the Singapore River was built in 1822, separating Singapore River into South Bridge and North Bridge. The wooden bridge used to stand at the site of the present-day Elgin Bridge.

The bridge was named after Lord Elgin, Governor-General of India in 1862 when an iron bridge was replacing an older wooden bridge. The current bridge was built in 1929.

Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli, an Italian sculptor, made the cast iron lamp posts and decorative lion medallions on the bridge. His sculptures can still be seen outside the Bank of China Singapore Branch, Crawford Bridge and the façade of the old Supreme Court which converted into the National Gallery of Singapore.

(Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli, an Italian sculptor, carved the casted iron lamp posts on Eugin bridge. )

Cavenagh Bridge

Cavenagh Bridge was erected in 1869 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Singapore. It is one of only two remaining bridges in the world built with the "Ordish-Lefeuvre system", a type of modified cable-stayed bridge design (the other is the Albert Bridge in London). Unfortunately, the bridge was designed without sufficient height allowance that enabled vessels to pass under it. It gave birth to the lighter industry.

The bridge was the last major project undertaken by Indian convict labours who were deported to Singapore for half a century.

There are antique signs at both ends of the bridge prohibiting "any vehicle of which the laden weight exceeds 3 cwt and to all cattle and horses". 3 cwt is around 150kg.

(Cavenagh Bridge was the last major project undertaken by Indian convict labourers.)

Anderson Bridge

By the turn of the 20th century, Singapore was enjoying a measure of economic success. This placed pressure on existing infrastructure including bridges.

Anderson Bridge, the first steel bridge in Singapore, was built in 1910 to cope with growing traffic in the city.

During World War II, Japanese soldiers used to display the severed heads of suspected spies and criminals on the steel arches of the bridge. The gruesome sight serves as a warning to those defiant toward Japanese rule.

(Anderson bridge is the first steel bridge constructed in Singapore.)
Sluice gates at Boat Quay

Sluice gates still exist at the South bank of Boat Quay between Elgin Bridge and Cavenagh Bridge. In the past, the sluice gates had to be manually closed during high tide. Otherwise the river would flood the nearby low-lying areas such as Carpenter Street and Hong Kong Street. When the tide is low, the sluice must be opened to allow water from the drains to flow into the river.

(Sluice gate at the South bank of Boat Quay.)

Read Bridge

The locals called the bridge Malacca Bridge, given its proximity to Kampong Malacca at Clarke Quay vicinity. True to its nickname, this place was initially designated as a kampong for the Muslim community.

Read was a British merchant, credited for helping to mediate a major conflict between the Hokkien and Teochew communities in the mid-1850s.

However, Read Bridge is best known as a location where Teochew storytellers would entertain the coolie crowds in the evenings, telling stories for a fee.

The storyteller would ignite an incense stick, sitting next to a wooden box with a gas lamp. Traditional culture and values were transmitted to coolies through story telling. These incense sticks were particularly thin and would burn out in less than 15 minutes. At this time, the story was usually nearing its climax and was too exciting to call for a halt. The crowd would not hesitate to pay to continue with the story. It is a lost scene of yesteryear.

(Storyteller and coolies crowded on Read Bridge at night. c.1960. Source: NAS)

Main references
韩山元,《新加坡河: 讲不完的故事》,八方文化创作室2006,ISBN 9789814139243。
韩昕余,“创造第一个水喉-国内水源”,《小红点 大格局》,Centre for Liveable Cities, MND Singapore 2016
李国樑,“新加坡河的船事”,《联合早报》(缤纷)2016年3月11日。
李国樑,“驳船苦力走过斑驳岁月”,《联合早报》(缤纷)2017年4月1日。
“An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600s-1819”, National Museum of Singapore, 21 September 2019 – 29 March 2020.
Centre for Liveable Cities, “Clean-up of Singapore River and Kallang Basin”, Singapore infopedia, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_2019-05-21_104327.html, accessed 21 October 2019.
Felicia Choo, “5 interesting facts about the Singapore River clean-up”, The Straits Times July 5, 2014. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/5-interesting-facts-about-the-singapore-river-clean-up.
Nicole Chang, “5 things to know about the newly gazetted Singapore River bridges”, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-river-bridges-cavenagh-anderson-elgin-12002676, CNA 15 October 2019, accessed 22 October 2019.
“Singapore River”, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_River, accessed 21 October 2019.
Stephen Dobbs, 《The Singapore River: A Social History, 1819-2002》, Singapore University Press 2003, ISBN 9971-69-277-5.
Vernon Cornelius-Takahama & Damien Wang, “Singapore River (historical overview)”, Singapore infopedia, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_148_2005-02-02.html, accessed 21 October 2019.
Vernon Cornelius-Takahama, “Singapore Stone”, Singapore infopedia, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_43_2005-01-26.html, accessed 21 October 2019.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

从潮州歌谣 看先辈过番

作者:蔡美娥
原文刊登于《联合早报》2019年12月9日

新加坡开埠后,从中国南来的先辈形成这里的一大民族—华族;而潮州人是华族中的第二大方言群体。

当时潮州人南下靠的是海上交通工具,从最早的红头船到后来的蒸汽轮船。

这些南来的潮州先辈,当时是抱着什么目的而来,又是带着何种心情南下,我们试着从以下几首潮州歌谣了解潮人过番。

(红头船是潮州先辈下南洋的早期交通工具。图片摄自国家博物馆。)

无奈何过番去


断柴米,等饿死。
无奈何,卖咕哩。

柴米是生活中的必需品,家乡没柴没米,如果找不到解决方法,那就是死路一条。在这种无可奈何的情况下,唯一的选择就是卖身到南洋去当苦力。

歌谣反映当时南来过番的先辈,完全是在面对生死存亡而作出决择,逼于无奈走上这条路。他们深知卖身当苦力干的是日晒雨淋、流血流汗的苦活,甚至可能丢了性命。可是为了家中的老弱妇孺,身为丈夫和儿子,当尽义尽孝,以个人的牺牲换取一家人之温饱;再苦也得撑,再危险也得去尝试。

带一条浴巾过番去


一溪目汁一船人,
一条浴巾去过番。
钱银知寄人知转,
勿忘父母共妻房。

决定过番后就得启航,生离死别最令人不忍目睹。码头上,整船都是过番客;上船的是家中男丁,一家的经济支柱,送行的是留在家乡的父母和妻儿。船上岸上都挥洒着离别泪,唯一的行装是一条浴巾。留在家乡的亲人虽然期望南下的男人能为家中解决三餐之忧,但更渴望他早日回乡。

歌谣反映离乡人的窘境。家中一贫如洗,只能含泪带着“过番三样宝”——旧衣服、切好的甜粿和一条浴巾登上红头船。

当时准备过番的人,都会相互打听番的消息。他们都知道这里天气炎热,一天最少要冲两三次凉,才不会生病。因此,浴巾是行装中必备之物。

歌谣也反映离乡人家中大小的矛盾心情,他们既对离乡人抱以厚望,以求获得解决生存困境,又深怕离乡人一去不返,在他乡再立家室,忘了家中的父母妻儿。

蒸汽轮船时代过番


火船开过七洲洋,
回头不见我家乡。
是好是怯全凭命,
不知何日回寒窑。

过番客上了船,船开航了,不舍的心情使他不断地回头望。当轮船驶过海南岛东北角的七洲列岛之后,就再也见不到潮州了。这时的过番客才开始认命,生死有命,是否还有机会回到自己的家乡,完全是个未知数。

歌谣点出已进入蒸汽轮船的时代,也就是说主人翁是1867年或之后的过番客,因为1867年开始才有汽船从汕头开往新加坡。“寒窑”同样反映出过番客离乡的原因出于穷困,对于过番的选择,也一样无奈,主人翁都无法掌控自己的命运,一切只能听天由命。

期盼来日荣耀归故里


阿叔今日去出洋,
番畔唐山架金桥。
来日荣耀归故里,
荫妻荫儿荫家乡。

过番客要离开家乡了,到时就能换取美好生活。不但过番客在南洋有好日子,家乡的亲人也能共享荣华富贵。

潮州人不称亲生父母为爸妈,而是以亲人关系来称呼。例如称爸爸为阿叔、阿舅;称妈妈为阿婶、阿妗、阿姨;故而歌谣中的阿叔应该是父亲的代称。

这首歌谣的年代应该属于较晚期,这时已有番客带回消息,知道来南洋谋生能够换取美好的生活。因此,家人对即将离开故里的亲人已不是泪眼相对,而是带着乐观的心境憧憬着美好的未来。

不向命运低头


从以上四首歌谣,我们可以看到潮州先辈南来的苦难经历与顽强斗志。他们虽然无从掌控自己的未来,却不向眼前的命运低头,宁可把命运交给未来赌一把。虽然是万般无奈地离乡背井,却带着无畏的精神走出家门,拼搏换取自己与家人的未来;最终终于赶走黑暗,奔向黎明,光宗耀祖归故里。

(全本潮汕方言歌谣评注)

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Friday, December 13, 2019

百年新加坡非物质文化遗产:新加坡舞狮的起源与发展

本文收录在《鹤山狮 风雨兼程 硕果百年》,新加坡鹤山会馆出版,2019年12月。 

舞狮是新加坡重要的非物质文化遗产。自从没有爆竹的噼啪声后,舞狮那充满节奏感的锣鼓声制造喜气,舞狮已经成为新年期间不可或缺的街景。

“采青” 是福气与财富的象征,这些采青表演的狮子称为南狮,南狮醒狮团普遍分布在新加坡、马来西亚、中国、香港、台湾、泰国、英国、加拿大等地。虽然越南有自己的狮子造型,但当地华人所舞的依旧是传统南狮。[1]


怡怡堂瑞狮团与鹤山狮:新加坡最早成立的醒狮团


新加坡鹤山会馆资料记载,鹤邑怡怡堂碑文中所引述的一段文字,源自安南同义堂(同义社)撰写的《冯展鹏公史略考文》:“石叻鹤邑梓里每逢春秋祭祀,例必舞狮登山致祭同邑袍泽,以示义结同心。”[2]

此碑文立于清·光绪十四年,也就是1888年。冯展鹏就是鹤山狮的鼻祖冯庚长。文中的安南为现在的越南,石叻为现在的新加坡。可以推断鹤山狮早在19世纪末已经流传至新加坡。

关于安南同义社,那是一个创建于清朝年间的组织,不过创办者何人,创办经过等详情已失传,只知同义社于1924年于越南堤岸梅山街倡办同义学校,于1943年注册为越南堤岸的旅越鹤山同乡会。[3]

香港街位於新加坡河沿岸,是中囯粮油食品出入口商集中处,早年商家以广东人居多,经营從香港、中国船运进口货物, 很多广东人都在此谋生。 20世纪初,一群来自广东鹤山县,包括冯庚长的门徒的先民,在市区从事搬运苦力工作,闲暇时聚集在新加坡河附近的香港街钻研舞狮与武术,于1920年成立怡怡堂瑞狮团。[4]


(香港街曾经是中囯粮油食品出入口商集中处,早年商家以广东人居多。)

狮团成为凝聚鹤邑乡情与推动狮艺的组织,清明与重阳都组团到广惠肇碧山亭广东人坟场舞狮祭祖。随着本地的鹤山乡里人口增加,狮团发展成为会馆。1939年鹤山同乡会(日后的鹤山会馆)成立后,狮团纳入会馆组织内。[5]

怡怡堂受公认为新加坡最先成立的醒狮团。1939年,冈州会馆成立另一支醒狮团。鹤山与冈州都属于广东人的会馆组织。

日战结束后,鹤山狮吸引新马习武之人前来学习,学成后各自成立狮团开班授徒。这些醒狮团同时扮演培养团队精神,打破籍贯语言隔阂的功能。

不过,即使是1951年新加坡升格为市的时候,本地的狮团还是有限。当时派出的只有六支醒狮队:鹤山同乡会(鹤山会馆)、冈州会馆、同民联友会、闽南国术研究社、嘉伦同乡会、崇侨互助社。[6]

显然舞狮也吸引英文报章记者浓厚的兴趣。新加坡自由报于1951年报道:“一头狮子在快乐世界体育场乱窜,在强烈的华族铜乐中,狮子凶猛地舞动着,并袭击老道士。这是昨晚新加坡南洋鹤山同乡会为防痨协会筹款所表演的舞狮项目的情节之一。” [7]

鹤山会馆醒狮团发展蓬勃的时候,曾受邀上电视台录制节目。譬如1968年,该狮团便前往电视台,参与制作45分钟的三幕狮剧“游侠醒狮会”。


(三幕狮剧“游侠醒狮会”的游侠剧照。)

舞狮的起源


舞狮活动的起源各有其说,其中一个版本是源自约1500年前的北魏时期。到了南宋时期,庆典中开始出现北狮表演。南狮的发展则在近代的广东地区出现。[8]

新加坡的狮子为南狮,主要为广东佛山狮与鹤山狮。佛山狮的狮头高挑、较多绒球装潢,上唇露出牙齿,外表凶猛。鹤山狮的狮头较扁平,嘴突出如鸭嘴状,不露齿,看起来比较温文含蓄。[9]

“静如灵猫伺鼠出穴,动如灵猫捕鼠敏捷”,说的是鹤山狮艺的特色,鹤山狮艺的七星鼓法节奏感强,配合舞狮的各程序,是南狮鼓法的重大创新。


分辨狮子


“南国狮艺,起源于佛山,发祥于鹤山。”这是舞狮界的说法。

南狮也称醒狮,“醒”有觉醒、醒悟等含义,因此被视为吉祥的象征。[10] 狮头的形状方面,广东狮可分为佛山狮与鹤山狮,传统狮头分成黄、红、黑三色,分别代表桃园结义的三兄弟刘备、关羽、和张飞,近年来多添了蓝白色和青色,代表马超和赵云,合称五虎将。

刘备身为帝皇,向来以仁义出名,因此黄色刘备狮代表泽被苍生、仁义及皇家贵气。关公以忠义著称,受供奉为武财神,因此红色关公狮代表忠义、胜利、财富。张飞勇猛好斗,因此黑色张飞狮代表霸气、勇猛。马超是戴孝打仗的,所以蓝白色的狮子俗称丧狮,通常在丧礼殡仪等白事才会出现。赵子龙乃一代虎将,能在百万军中救阿斗,因此青色赵云狮比喻英雄出少年。


(冈州会馆所展示的部分狮头:传统狮头分成黄、红、黑三种颜色,近年来已经多样化。)

这些角色都出自三国演义,忠诚与义气的价值观贯彻在狮艺中。

如今狮头的颜色已经随心所欲,跟传统脱离关系。新成立的狮团喜欢标新立异,破旧立新,造狮人以顾客为大,悉随尊便。例如以前的狮角是黑色的,眼睛是绿色的,现在都是随意的。此外,金色、银色、刺青花纹和彩灯狮头都陆续出现。

狮子必须开光点睛才有生命,过去这个开光的程序都是在神灵面前进行的,并且有一定的口诀,负责开光的是德高望重的人物,如今多数由捐献的人士开光。[11]

新加坡精武体育会于1947年成立北狮双狮团,北狮的外形与传统华人建筑门外的石狮子相近。北狮外型趣智,舞动灵巧,以精武体育会为鼻祖,不过在新加坡流传度不广。[12]

尼路的“精武体育会操场” 曾经为精武体育会的场地,上世纪40至70年代,精武狮队在该操场练习。


(尼路的“精武体育会操场” 曾经为精武体育会训练的场地。)


舞狮表演的过程


为舞狮“伴奏”的乐器包括大鼓、铜锣与钹,通常一组舞狮表演队伍可达8至10人,其中2人舞动狮子,其他6至8人负责乐器与现场指挥协调等。

舞狮的时候,狮子的动作跟音乐调和。其实最主要的是音乐必须配合狮子。鼓跟着狮子的一举一动,锣和钹则配合鼓声。舞狮必须表现狮子的形态,模仿狮子的情绪与动作,结合功夫与美感,那是一场完美的动感、美感、情感与技艺的结合。

表演者穿上配合狮背的衣物,舞狮头的表演者控制狮头、眼睛、耳朵、嘴巴,狮尾除了控制狮尾巴,使到整头狮子活灵活现外,更重要的是腰马,能够支撑狮头,让伙伴随心所欲,攀高跳跃采高青等。狮尾劳苦功高,可谓舞狮的无名英雄。

一切准备就绪后,狮子闻鼓起舞,在充满节奏感的强烈音乐中跑到表演场中央向观众三鞠躬敬礼,若是祭祖或在会馆与庙宇,则先向祖先与神灵致敬。

一般的舞狮表演约15分钟,障碍物由主家布置,狮子必须越过重重障碍,最后取得财宝(青)。 

取青的过程中,狮子必须表演“喜、怒、惊、乐、疑、睡、醉、醒”八种神态,每种神态的鼓乐节奏都不相同。

表演结束前,狮子必须向观众三鞠躬致谢,或向祖先神灵致敬。


采青


农历新年、公司开张、中秋节等节日喜庆都可见到狮子采青,通常表演过八种神态后,狮子就会采下 青菜,吞嚼与反吐(吐青)。


(新加坡鹤山会馆醒狮团在农历新年期间上门采青,采青是必须于新年前预约的。)

近年来的新年采青,主家会要求狮子做些额外工作,譬如剥开年柑,出真字等。

过去,一些主家会安排剥柚子、捉螃蟹、捉蛇、碗中捞鱼等。 [13] 以洪门来召集会众的私会党还会以各自的规矩来拜青。

采青是醒狮团的主要收入来源,其他收入则来自不定期的受邀演出,收费由主家与狮团接洽。一些醒狮团在农历新年期间可赚取3万至4万元,足以维持一年的租金、水电、交通等运作开销。 [14]

采青的传统可追溯到南方民间反清复明义士为了掩饰清廷耳目,以“采青”和“踩清”的同音来贬低满清,过程中又以“吞青”代表“吞灭清朝”之意,以“吐青”暗喻为“散清”的意思。清朝灭亡后,采青则赋予各种“胜意”、“典故”等元素,形成今天的青阵文化,要破解青阵便需靠舞狮者的智慧和功夫。 [15]


今日新加坡的舞狮活动


目前在新加坡武术龙狮总会的注册醒狮团约300支, [16] 参与舞狮活动的则约一万人,不过好些人士参与多家醒狮团,亦并非全都活跃。[17]

新加坡的醒狮团 关系密切,面对人手短缺时,彼此间会互相支援。譬如史丹福龙狮文化艺术团的团员多数是在籍学生与国民服役人员,由于时间有限,遇上重要的表演时,他们会跟其他狮团联合起来出狮。此外,团员的平均年龄已经从25岁提高到30岁,此现象在新加坡的狮团是颇普遍的。[18]

近年来,新的醒狮团陆续创建。譬如,2007年成立的新加坡新洋体育会,由南洋初级学院的学生与校友联合组成。[19]  1991年十多名龙狮爱好者成立新加坡关善壇龙狮学院。[20] 本地的舞狮活动跟二战前后相比显然踊跃得多,相比之下,70多年前新加坡只有三家注册狮团:鹤山会馆,冈州会馆,精武体育会。 

由于舞狮需要强大的体力与耐力,活跃的舞狮者多数年龄介于18至60岁之间,年纪较大的多数担任教练的职位。


学习舞狮


培养舞狮后进的工作通常由已经累积多年技艺、经验与知识的“师傅”负责,并由资深的学生协助。学艺人士多数是学生、国民服役人员以及年轻的男女,他们对传统武术与狮艺都有浓厚的兴趣。

表演舞狮除了体能,也必须要有一些武术根基,因此掌握基本的武术是很重要的。

训练通常在会所进行,一个星期一次,多数安排在周末,大家不需要工作上课的时间。若是准备重要的表演、竞赛等,训练则会加场。


(鹤山会馆为培养后期之秀的舞狮训练。)

平时训练时,学员学习到各种舞狮乐器、动作,以及音乐与动作间的配合。学员掌握基本技艺后,可以选择朝向各自的专长发展。[21]

本地醒狮团的组织简单,最高职位为团长,团长以下的根据资历,有师兄弟与师姐妹,以及打鼓、锣和钹的乐手。

如果醒狮团附属于会馆或庙宇,则必须向该组织的理事负责。


舞狮内涵的变化


本地的舞狮表演者多数为各籍贯的华族人士,近年来有其他种族参与。譬如鹤山会馆与冈州会馆吸引到喜欢舞狮的印籍年轻人,敬扬龙狮团则有20多岁的马来同胞。

近年来,新加坡和马来西亚的舞狮表演朝向挑战高度与自由表演,这种突破传统舞狮格局高桩表演传到中国、越南等地,对年轻人有一定的吸引力。马来西亚政府于2007年宣布把高桩舞狮列为国家文化遗产,鉴定了舞狮文化在马来西亚的地位,目前正在筹备提呈联合国教科文组织,申请列入非物质文化遗产。马来西亚的舞狮也受到各个种族的欢迎,不分年龄性别地加入舞狮的团队中。[22]

不过,一些崇尚传统狮艺的本地醒狮团并不认同这种高危险性,甚至可能从高空摔下,引起伤残的“杂技表演”。他们认为舞狮所要学习的并非高桩上跳跃的挑战,而是朝往传统舞狮的细节、规矩、精益求精的艺术表现与体会尚武精神的内涵。

传统的舞狮表演的道具主要是山洞与桥梁,代表高山与大桥。随着科技的发展,近年来的舞狮训练通过摄像来取代传统的示范与口传方式。许多醒狮团亦通过社交媒体、互联网、博客、脸书等来传达讯息。


醒狮团的另一类挑战


经济发展良好的时候,农历新年对醒狮的要求增加,本地醒狮团往往供不应求。譬如2015年,只有194支醒狮团申请采青准证,比往年少5%。[23] 为了解决人手短缺,南仙龙狮体育会邀请越南的狮团前来助阵,不过入境前因人力部的政策而必须打道回府。[24]

一些本地人有醒狮团跟私会党挂钩的观念。报章报道鼎圣龙狮院曾经面对过这种情况,导因可能是有些表演者身上有刺青,给人“阿明”的感觉。受到“刺青形象”影响的狮团,一般会要求表演者戴上臂套,教练也会负起教导徒弟的责任。 [25] 虽然刺青对醒狮团的形象有一定的影响,目前并没有迹象显示这会阻碍本地舞狮的发展。

参考资料
1. 2013年越南胡志明市第五郡华人舞狮表演,You tube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21AvqNDSmZU [accessed 11 January 2017]。
2. 《新加坡鹤山会馆二零零六年纪念特刊》,新加坡鹤山会馆出版,第 47页。
3. “旅越鹤山同乡会概况”,《新加坡鹤山同乡会十周年纪念特刊》,新加坡南洋鹤山同乡会出版,1949年12月31日,第31页。
4. 《新加坡鹤山会馆二零零六年纪念特刊》,新加坡鹤山会馆出版,第 47页。
5. 霍炳权主编,《新加坡鹤山会馆二零一五年纪念特刊》,新加坡鹤山会馆出版,第 25-27页。
6. “一舞龙队六舞狮队花车二百余架”,《南洋商报》1951年9月19日,第五页。
7. The Singapore Free Press, 3 October 1951, p.8.
8. “Lion dance”, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_dance [accessed 5 January 2017].
9. “Southern lion classification”, Singapore Wushu Dragon & Lion Dance Federation, http://www.wuzong.com/en/wushi_nanshixingte.php [accessed 5 January 2017].
10. Mo Cuiyu, The Cantonese lion head: the process of making a lion head in Guangzhou. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5071629, p. 25.
11. “Lion Dance”, Singapore Infopedia: an electronic encyclopedia on Singapore’s history, culture, people and events, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_57_2004-12-27.html [accessed 11 January 2017].
12. 关于新加坡精武体育会, http://www.sgchinwoo.com/Home [accessed 7 January 2017]。
13. “Lion Dance”, Singapore Infopedia: an electronic encyclopedia on Singapore’s history, culture, people and events, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_57_2004-12-27.html [accessed 11 January 2017].
14. Fabian Koh, “Roaring interest in lion dance”, Straits Times 20 November 2016, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/roaring-interest-in-lion-dance [accessed 7 January 2017].
15. “Lion & Dragon Dance Curriculum”, http://www.kongchow.org/index.php/en/dragon-dance [assessed 22 April 2019].
16. 会员名单,Singapore Wushu Dragon & Lion Dance Federation, http://www.wuzong.com/affiliates_list.php [accessed 7 January 2017]
17. Fabian Koh, “Roaring interest in lion dance”, Straits Times 20 November 2016, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/roaring-interest-in-lion-dance [accessed 7 January 2017].
18. 薛淑慧,“年初四开工大吉:采青预约大增 应接不暇”,http://www.channel8news.sg/news8/singapore/20160211-sg-lion-dance/2507030.html 11 February 2016. [accessed 10 January 2017]。
19. About Xinyang & Yongyang Athletic Association, http://www.xinyang.com.sg/aboutxinyang [accessed 7 January 2017].
20. About Team KST, http://www.teamkst.sg/ [accessed 7 January 2017].
21. Fabian Koh, “Roaring interest in lion dance”, Straits Times 20 November 2016, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/roaring-interest-in-lion-dance [accessed 7 January 2017].
22. “大马高桩舞狮申世遗 张盛闻促响应百万签名活动”,《星洲日报》 2017年10月10日,http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/1689995 [accessed 26 April 2019]。
23. “农历新年醒狮团员人数不足 采青工作减少”, 狮城6点半 2 February 2015,8频道http://www.channel8news.sg/news8/ca/newsbulletin/episodes/20150222-news-630/1672976.html [accessed 12 January 2017]。
24. 李蕙心,“人力部拒发特别准证: 培养本地采青人员 舞狮团不能找外援”, 《联合早报》2016年1月20日。
25. Fabian Koh, “Roaring interest in lion dance”, Straits Times 20 November 2016, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/roaring-interest-in-lion-dance [accessed 7 January 2017].

相关链接

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

木薯

作者:辛羽
图片:辛羽
原文刊登于《艺术天地》第29期

常常惦念木薯。

年幼的女儿善解人意,偶而一起外出,她会记得去梭罗糕饼店买块沾着椰丝的糕点给老爸。而我上巴刹买菜,眼睛总下意识地要往菜摊上搜寻,希望能意外的发现几条新鲜的木薯,最好是黄瓜般粗细,还沾连着湿润的泥土,土褐色外皮微有皱裂。那么,明日早餐,就有一顿粉嫩酥软的蒸木薯,解我多时的相思。

木薯,在童年的乡居岁月里,是最普通不过的。那年月,三餐艰难,更不用说有零食了。幸好,树上有香蕉、木瓜,地下有番薯、木薯,可以充饥果腹。孩子们最爱挖一两条半尺来长的木薯,找一堆菜地里冒着袅袅青烟的火烧土,往里一塞,一两个时辰后,就能捧着那热腾腾、香喷喷的煨木薯,悉悉索索地饱餐一顿。


(新鲜木薯)

母亲也不时给家里弄点木薯。有时是木薯糖水,有时把木薯擦成碎屑,做成木薯糕,最简便也最常吃的是盐水蒸木薯。

吃木薯时,父母亲总习惯性地叮嘱几句:木薯好吃,不能多吃,会腿肿无力的。有时为了加深印象,还会说起日本侵占时期,因为三餐吃木薯,而周身水肿的苦况。“日本手里,要没有木薯,很多人都活不过来了!”父亲还要又是感慨,又是感激的加上一句。

那时,二战硝烟久已飘散。但生活中昨日的战争并非了无痕迹。村子所在的那个小山丘,一条旧战壕,就蜿蜒地贯连了村子里疏疏落落的十几户人家。当我们一群玩伴,跳进那已多处崩塌,杂草蔓生的壕沟里,玩着兵捉贼的游戏时,隐约地还能感受着一丝战争的惊悸。爷爷翻地时,也好几次,掘出锈迹斑斑的枪械和炮弹。再来就是来自长辈口中的战祸的经历了,特别是多次重复的,不能多吃木薯的提醒,把孩子的心和那场战争拉近了。

记得几年前,报章曾报导了一位画家,以木薯做为专题,到一些学校去组织美育活动,让今日的学童,通过木薯制作手工艺品,去对那场几被淡忘的战争,做一番感性的回顾。也许不合时宜,但却别具意义。当时,活动并未获得推广。我想,这也许就是木薯的写照,木薯的宿命了。

木薯,原产于美洲巴西亚马逊河流域。据社会学家的考据,远在1400年前,木薯曾经和玉米,同是南美玛雅人的主食。作为热带作物,它与马铃薯、番薯一起,成为人类最普遍食用的三大薯类。但时至今日,木薯却已早早撤出了文明社会的餐桌,只做为千百种的糕点零食之一,慰藉人们的味蕾。它不登大雅之堂,只浪迹于市井摊贩。然而,它亦从未被遗弃或淡忘——

在马来半岛的热带雨林里,生活着一个原始族群“先奴伊人” (Sinoi),木薯还是他们主要的粮食之一。还处在刀耕火种阶段的先奴伊人,在深山密林的河岸边,开辟出广袤的木薯芭,整个部落就在这一片绿色天地间生活、繁衍。

新鲜离土的木薯不利于贮存,就算煮熟后亦不能存放多天。因此,先奴伊人吃木薯,一是做成干粮,称为乌蜜苏 (Ubisop),可以存放一两个月;另一做法即炭烤木薯 (tot ubi kayu),新鲜烤熟食用,类似于煨木薯。

七、八月间,正是热带雨林里,各类野果成熟的时节,采集的果实,捕获的猎物,都是一年里最丰盛的。族群里总会有欢庆丰收的聚会:旷地上,篝火熊熊燃起,火舌忽高忽低,仿佛在窥探森林之夜的秘密。族人手持长短不一的竹筒碰击地面,发出“乒——嘭——乒——嘭”的节奏,夜风随之微微震颤。粗犷的男声混杂着吟唱,时而激越,时而低迴……跳舞的男女老少,头上簪着山花,腰间插着绿叶,手里挥摆着羽状复叶的嫰枝条。抬脚顿地,发出“怦、怦”的响声,呼应竹筒的节奏。他们的舞姿舒展自由:摆头、扭腰、扬手、蹬腿、各随心意。一种与天地共舞的痴醉,让全副身心沉浸在裸裎酣畅的极乐中……这时,火塘里烘烤的木薯熟了,一条条莲藕般,又比莲藕粉嫰洁白的木薯捧到面前,晚风中弥漫着烤香:原始、朴实、醇厚,纯粹酝酿自泥土的芬芳,与眼前的情景水乳交融,浑然天成。那是一抹生命的本色,一缕生活的原味。木薯,在这荒野的篝火旁,密林的星空下,闪耀着它另一番奇异的光彩。

也许曾以木薯为食的老一辈人会感到惊诧:木薯,能够几十个年头,甚至如先奴伊人,世世代代的食用而不给身体带来损害?

这里原有一个奥秘,先奴伊人以实践将它揭开。原来木薯的块根含有一种叫氰基苷的毒素,生食或多食会破坏人体健康。而毒素就存在于去皮后木薯表层的水囊部位,因此,长期备受误解及委曲的木薯,只消在烹煮之前,刮除表层的水囊,就能长期大量的安全食用。

然而,真正凸显木薯魅力的,不是火塘里的炭火,而是战争里的炮火!三年八个月的日佔时期,星罗棋布,分散于马来半岛的无数木薯芭场,掩护着躲避战祸的万千难民,为他们减少了饥饿之苦,让多少孩子在战火中存活了下来。木薯,成了生命的救星!而活跃在森林和原野的抗日队伍,经常面对敌人的围剿封锁,更是常以木薯为食,果腹充饥,焕发斗志,对日本侵略者发动持续的、猛烈的反击。

战火延烧。为了争取民族的真正独立,实现人民的民主自由,抗日战争发展为抗英战争。多少回南征北战,多少次艰辛跋涉,为着坚持理想,队伍远走异域,在茫茫林海里和先奴伊人毗邻而居。四十余年的风风雨雨,处处可见木薯的踪迹,茂密翠绿的木薯芭,成为维续生命的粮食来源,补充了队伍日常的三餐所需。尤其在风波骤起的年月,外围农村粮供被切断,口粮依靠野菜、猎物、藏粮和木薯,木薯芭一次又一次地成为与敌人周旋、角力和争夺的阵地,生机里隐匿着重重的杀机!有一年,军警联合大进攻已持续多时,密林里木薯芭场的一隅,伏击的枪声骤然响起,守卫芭场的三个年轻的身躯訇然倒下,青春和热血,宛如晶莹的朝露,浇灌了木薯芭肥沃的黑土地……中秋节前夕,队伍派出的一个工作小组,把从木薯芭场抢收回来的木薯,擦成粉屑,精心碾成了月饼皮,包裹着以红薯泥作的馅料,用炭火细细烘烙,制成一个个金黄色,外皮酥脆,内里松软,寄托着胜利团圆心愿的月饼。在那连木薯皮都要定量分配,当做午餐充饥的日子,这样的月饼,不啻是一种丰盛,一种奢华,一种来自木薯芭的恩典。当它被捧在手里,一小口一小口的品尝着,内心充溢着难以言喻的感动。听着远处隐隐传来的炮声,抬头仰望雨林上空的一轮圆月,流水般倾泻下来的淡青色的月光,笼罩着、浴浸着,恍惚如无尽的情思,融汇着对战友的怀念,对木薯的谢忱,以及对生涯的慨叹!

唉,木薯,是战争选择了你,还是你钟情于战争?要在灾难中发挥你的能量,在匮乏中展现你的风华。你是如此的卑微,你又是如此高尚,在风雷激荡的岁月里,你书写了几许不平凡!

记得孩提时候,一位长辈曾经告诉我,当年他还在家乡三心两意,犹豫着要不要越海南来谋生?要下决心真不容易啊!这时,有人向他描述了此地的情景,说:这里,连一根拐杖插下地,明年也能长出粮食!一句话改变了他的人生,赤道的热土上多了一行新客的奋斗的足迹。

我想:那根拐杖不是别的什么,一定是木薯的茎!木薯不像其他薯类,植株矮小,匍伏于地,它又名“树薯”,身姿轩昂,绿荫如盖,拔地而起的茎,修长挺直,粗细适中,多么适合握在手里,支持着你在崎岖的路上颠簸、跋涉。然后,抵达家门口,往地里一搁、一插,一年以后,它还为你奉献几公斤的木薯。

那晚突然做了个梦:梦里童年时住过的小小亚答屋,在寒风中瑟缩着,已残破颓败得不成样子,反倒是屋角那片木薯,迎风摇曳,却依然枝叶婆娑,郁郁葱葱……

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