In 2007, I blogged about Wayang Stages in Singapore (here), and mentioned about the wayang stage in my kampong at Lorong Kinchir. At that time, I did not have any photos of this wayang stage to share with my readers. But subsequently, I met a former neighbour, Mr Lau Eng Leong and he shared the following 2 photos with me.
The first photo; in black and white, is the original wayang stage. It shows a side view. The lady in the photo was a visitor to Eng Leong’s house. This was probably in the early 1970s.
The second photo – the colour one - was taken in the late 1970s, a few years after my family had moved out. It shows a front view. If you look closely, you will see that there are actually 2 wayang stages; one in front and one behind. The one in front is actually a temporary makeshift stage, whilst the one behind was the original wayang stage. What happened was that the original, permanent structure was damaged. The kampong folks probably did not want to spend money to repair it as our kampong land had already been acquired by the government, and they would have to move out soon. So they constructed a temporary one.
But actually the land lay vacant for many years before the government finally constructed the Central Expressway over it. During those years, whenever I drove past Lorong Chuan and saw our former kampong land lying idle, I could not help feeling some resentment against our government. Still things worked out well, and the rest, as they say, is history.
For more stories about the wayang activities in my kampong, please read my book, Good Morning Yesterday; Growing up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s (chapter 4). Available in major bookstores at only $18.65.
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