SINGAPORE, Nov 17 1998 (IPS) - Commerce-savvy Singapore isn't someone to skip the potential for cashing in on business online. Because of the alleged “E-commerce” predicted to improve five-fold this present year and achieve some 34 billion bucks, the area state is busily attempting to position it self while the online business hub associated with the East. Singaporeans on their own are already one of the an incredible number of customers associated with digital departmental stores. If the reaction to a neighborhood play right here is any indicator, a number of Singaporeans are maybe not planning to overlook the drawback of cyber shopping.
‘Mail Order’, written and directed by a cable television newsreader Pek Siok Lian, had been designed to have just a two-week period. But which was extended by per week till Oct 29 because of popular need. Presently there are intends to re-stage it for the next in early December week.
During a unique performance during the ny Overseas Fringe Festival in August, the play additionally received high praise from critics. The ‘New York Times’ has since included ‘Mail Order’ in its Fringe Selection list.
“The event workplace told us that ‘Mail Order Brides’ had been one of several shows that are best-attended 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 of Ekachai’s and Pek’s aspire to compose one thing about “the apparently impossible romance” between your bargirls of Bangkok’s Patpong red-light region and their Caucasian consumers.
“We soon realised that the Patpong woman just isn't alone”, recalls Ekachai. “All over Asia, a huge number of Asian ladies fancy the exact same fantasy to be taken far from poverty or tradition-bound lifestyles by males from more developed nations.”
Included in their research, a Web was done by them search, utilizing the expression “mail order brides.” Your time and effort with one internet search engine yielded nine entries with links to significantly more than 100 internet web sites and another inundated them with over 160,00 matches that are possible.
“What is noteworthy is that these firms hawking individual commodities are Western clothes catering to a clientele that is western and their items are touted as exotics through the developing globe, specially mostly appealing yet submissive young Asian ladies” says Pek, that is additionally the play’s manager.
In accordance with the play’s programme, the amount of “mail order marriages” between Asian females and men that are western 1986 had been predicted to attain at the very least 2,000. By 1994, such marriages involving females through the Philippines and Western males had reached 19,000.
Interestingly sufficient, the majority of the brides-to-be that is hopeful their cyberspace postings from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are Filipino females being employed as domestic helpers during these nations.
But there is however additionally a trend that is growing of males looking for mail-order brides from China. While just eight mainland Chinese females became the brides of Singaporean males in 1986, at the least 1,000 such marriages were held just last year.
A Chinese mail-order bride is one of the play’s four characters, because are a Filipino domestic helper, a Thai intercourse worker and a Singaporean “sarong party girl” – a lady whom operates after Western expatriates.
The intercourse worker, the maid plus the Chinese bride ‘wanna-bees’ make postings on an online site, hoping international guys will save them from their unsatisfying everyday lives.
The sarong celebration woman comes upon the internet site while browsing the internet, is incensed, and gets sucked in to the site’s talk space. The play’s very first half is a number of quick monologues where each girl attempts 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 helper that is domestic 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 together with intercourse worker has contracted AIDS.
Whenever ‘Mail Order’ was first staged a year ago, the ‘Straits Times’ reviewer Clarissa Oon criticised it being an “unimaginative one-hour- plus rehash of all of the worst stereotypes of Asian females, Singaporean men and their Caucasian counterparts”.
The play has since been restructured, and it also had been this variation which was plumped for whilst the very very very first Asian entry to the latest York event. But Oon continues to be critical of ‘Mail Order’ and says it nevertheless does not have an actual discussion on what it indicates to be A asian girl today.
Literature graduate Emma Yong, whom plays the part for 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 slim hope that she's going to be rescued from the life of poverty and servitude.”
Pek by by herself is unperturbed by remarks that the play presents stereotypes, retorting, “We are seeing these things occurring at our personal doorstep.”
Dr Phyllis Chew, mind associated with Singaporean women’s association AWARE, is extremely supportive of this play. “It is a definite feminist statement associated with discrimination and exploitation faced by scores of Asian females she says as they struggle to better their lot. “Any play that highlights the plight of females, if they are underpaid, overworked, abused or raped must be motivated.”
Pek in reality is worked up about the notion of presenting ‘Mail purchase’ to wider audiences into the western as the guys who fuel the industry additionally the online organizations that behave as the agents have a tendency to be after that. Her partner Ekachai adds they are now taking a look at the risk of developing a brand new creation of the play in the usa.
“If all goes well, we aspire to jointly create it with an existing theatre business here while having it tour around America within the future that is near claims Ekachai. they could additionally bring the play to Britain and Canada the following year.
The dilemma faced by many Asian girls in search of Caucasian husbands seems to be summed up neatly by Beatrice Chia, who plays the Singaporean party girl as for Oon’s reservations about‘Mail Order.
Toward the final end associated with 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!”