3 November 2007

The magic of serendipity

I vaguely remember Straits Times writing about him a few months back but let me just indulge myself, jump on the bandwagon (belatedly!) and put this guy back into our consciousness. He’s the one and only Meiyang Chang, the exited Indian idol.

I was feeling a bit nostalgic and decided to youtube Kishore Kumar. I don’t know why but every time I had these feelings, Kishore Kumar worked wonders for me. His voice, phew, very the magical. So there I was watching Shashi Kapoor miming to Tera Mujhse and on the side bar, this guy Chang was pictured as the singer of Dil Kya Kare, another Kumar’s hit. Out of curiosity, I watched the video.

My oh my, was I blown away. Almost lost for words. His voice is good. But that’s not the clincher. This guy is a Chinese dude singing in Hindi. I didn’t understand anything but he sounded so perfect and so Indian, it’s completely surreal. (Pardon my ignorance if this is not uncommon at all) Salvador Dali would have salivated over the sight of this and would have produced a few more masterpieces.

In the video, you can also see his family dancing to the Hindi tunes. Imagine your average market Ah Soh, uncle and aunties dancing to something like ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. Cannot imagine right? You have to watch the video.

I googled him and found out that he’s a third generation Chinese in India (Surprise!!!) A dentist and an amateur cartoonist, he has now bagged for himself a legion of adoring fans in India and has his own blogs which you must check out (buddhasoliloques.blogspot.com) Whimsical, his writing. In any case, I’m in awe because I cannot foresee this happening in Singapore. It’s assimilative multiculturalism at its best. Meiyang Chang, you're my idol!


Rani said...

it's interesting that singaporeans see a chinese singing hindi as a peculiar phenomenon, as reflected in the TOC title of this post. Perhaps because Singaporeans are so used to stereotyping skin colors with corresponding languages and culture. In Indonesia, the link between skin and language/culture is not so straightforward, we are used to having indonesian chinese singing indonesian songs. We have indonesian chinese speaking with javanese accent, north sumatran accent, etc. I observe the same phenomenon in Thailand, where Thai Chinese and Thai Indians would fluently speak Thai, and would proudly say that they're Thai and not consider their race as an important identifier. And now we see that in India, it's the same as in Thailand and Indonesia. It is only in Malaysia and Singapore where I find race has become an important and separating / segregating parameter. And I have never been able to get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Agree with rani.

Only in Malaysia and Singapore does race exist in our consciousness all the time. Which is a pity.
In other places, the minorities are well integrated into the mainstream like what rani mentioned.
How to build a united society like that?