News and Views through the Global South

News and Views through the Global South

SINGAPORE, Nov 17 1998 (IPS) – Commerce-savvy Singapore is certainly not anyone to skip the potential for cashing in on company on the web. Using the so-called “E-commerce” predicted to boost five-fold this present year and reach some 34 billion bucks, the area state is busily attempting to place itself once the web business hub for the East. Singaporeans by themselves are already among the list of an incredible number of consumers associated with the shopping that is virtual. If the reaction to a regional play right here is any indicator, a number of Singaporeans are perhaps perhaps perhaps not planning to disregard the drawback of cyber shopping.

Certainly, because the play ‘Mail Order Brides and Other Oriental Takeaways’ points out, “the Web” has not yet just offered such product as books, cds and various foodstuffs you will find brides for desperate grooms too.

‘Mail Order’, written and directed by a satellite tv newsreader Pek Siok Lian, ended up being expected to only have a season that is two-week. But that has been extended by per week till Oct 29 as a result of popular need. Presently there are intends to re-stage it for the next week during the early December.

The play also received high praise from critics during a special performance at the New York International Fringe Festival in August. The ‘New York Times’ has since included ‘Mail Order’ in its Fringe Selection list.

“The festival workplace told us that ‘Mail Order Brides’ had been among the best-attended programs at the Festival. We had standing ovations at the conclusion of just about all shows,” boasts producer and director that is artistic Uekrongtham.

‘Mail Order’ arrived on the scene sign in of Ekachai’s and Pek’s aspire to compose one thing about “the apparently impossible relationship” amongst the bargirls of Bangkok’s Patpong red-light region and their Caucasian customers.

“We soon realised that the Patpong girl isn’t alone”, recalls Ekachai. “All over Asia, large number of Asian females dream the exact same dream to be taken far from poverty or tradition-bound lifestyles by guys from more developed nations.”

As an element of their research, they did an internet search, utilizing the expression “mail purchase brides.” Your time and effort with one internet search engine yielded nine entries with links to a lot more than 100 web web web sites and another inundated them with over 160,00 feasible matches.

“What is noteworthy is that these firms hawking human being commodities are Western clothes providing to a clientele that is western and their items are touted as exotics through the developing globe, particularly mostly appealing yet submissive young Asian ladies” states Pek, that is additionally the play’s manager.

She asks,”Is this still another kind of Western hegemony or is it simply flesh trade?”

In line with the play’s programme, the amount of “mail order marriages” between Asian females and men that are western 1986 had been believed to achieve at the least 2,000. By 1994, such marriages involving ladies through the Philippines and Western males had reached 19,000.

Interestingly sufficient, most the hopeful brides-to-be making their cyberspace postings from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are Filipino females being employed as domestic helpers within these nations.

But there is however additionally a growing trend of singaporean males seeking mail-order brides from China. While just eight mainland Chinese females became the brides of Singaporean males in 1986, at the very least 1,000 such marriages were held year that is last.

A Chinese bride that is mail-order one of the play’s four characters, because are a definite Filipino domestic helper, a Thai intercourse worker and a Singaporean “sarong party girl” – a lady who operates after Western expatriates.

The intercourse worker, the maid plus the Chinese bride ‘wanna-bees’ make postings on a webpage, hoping international guys will save them from their unsatisfying life.

The party that is sarong comes upon the web site while browsing the web, is incensed, and gets sucked in to the site’s talk space. The play’s half that is first a group of brief monologues where each girl tries to justify her actions.

The maid, the Chinese bride and the sex worker have all undergone terrible experiences, and are lamenting their decision to go online by the second half.

The Filipino domestic helper whom left her task in Singapore to marry a U.S. soldier happens to be raped by their buddy; the Chinese mail-order bride is in prison for stabbing her Singaporean husband whom attempted to rape her therefore the sex worker has contracted AIDS.

Whenever ‘Mail Order’ was initially staged year that is last the ‘Straits Times’ reviewer Clarissa Oon criticised it being an “unimaginative one-hour- plus rehash of all worst stereotypes of Asian ladies, Singaporean men and their Caucasian counterparts”.

The play has since been restructured, also it ended up being this variation that has been opted for given that very very very first entry that is asian the latest York event. But Oon continues to be critical of ‘Mail Order’ and says it nevertheless does not have a genuine dialogue about what this means become A asian girl today.

Literature graduate Emma Yong, whom plays the part regarding the Filipino maid states though: “I am relocated by my character’s courage. She risks every thing by marketing herself to not known strangers on the web – when you look at the hope that is slim she’s going to be rescued from a life of poverty and servitude.”

Lawyer Deborah Ng, whom plays the bride that is chinese additionally states of her character: “She’s A asia doll with a might of steel whom embarks for a journey to help make a far better future for herself by hunting for a spouse.”

Pek by herself is unperturbed by remarks that the play presents stereotypes, retorting, “We are seeing these things taking place at our very own doorstep.”

Dr Phyllis Chew, head regarding the Singaporean women’s association AWARE, is quite supportive of this play. “It is an obvious feminist statement for the discrimination and exploitation faced by an incredible number of Asian ladies she says as they struggle to better their lot. “Any play that highlights the plight of females, whether or not they are underpaid, overworked, abused or raped must be motivated.”

Pek in reality is stoked up about the concept of presenting ‘Mail purchase’ to wider audiences into the western as the guys who fuel the industry as well as the online organizations that behave as the agents have a tendency to there be from. Her partner Ekachai adds that they’re now taking a look at the potential for developing a brand new creation of the play in america.

“If all goes well, we aspire to jointly create it with a proven theatre business here and also have it tour around America within the future that is near claims Ekachai. They could additionally bring the play to Britain and Canada year that is next.

In terms of Oon’s reservations about ‘Mail Order’, the dilemma faced by numerous Asian girls looking for Caucasian husbands appears to be summed up nicely by Beatrice Chia, who plays the Singaporean party woman.

Toward the final end regarding the play, her character says: “Maybe I’m the Occidental Oriental. No, the accidental Oriental. The initial banana. Yellow on the exterior, white from the inside!”

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