SINGAPORE, Nov 17 1998 (IPS) – Commerce-savvy Singapore just isn’t anyone to miss out the possibility of cashing in on company on the web. The island state is busily trying to position itself as the Internet business hub of the East with the so-called “E-commerce” predicted to increase five-fold this year and reach some 34 billion dollars. Singaporeans by themselves are already among the list of scores of customers for the digital department stores. If the a reaction to a neighborhood play right here is any indicator, a number of Singaporeans are perhaps perhaps maybe not planning to disregard the drawback of cyber shopping.
Certainly, because the play ‘Mail Order Brides and Other Oriental Takeaways’ points out, “the Web” have not just offered merchandise that is such books, music cds and various foodstuffs you can find brides for hopeless grooms aswell.
‘Mail Order’, written and directed by a cable television newsreader Pek Siok Lian, ended up being expected to only have a two-week period. But that was extended by a week till Oct 29 as a result of demand that is popular. Presently there are intends to re-stage it for the next in early December week.
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 one of many best-attended programs at the Festival. We had standing ovations by the end of just about all shows,” boasts producer and creative manager Ekachai Uekrongtham.
‘Mail Order’ arrived on the scene of Ekachai’s and Pek’s need to compose one thing about “the apparently impossible relationship” between your bargirls of Bangkok’s Patpong red-light region and their Caucasian consumers.
“We soon realised that the Patpong woman is certainly not alone”, recalls Ekachai. “All over Asia, large number of Asian females 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, they did an internet search, utilising the expression “mail purchase brides.” Your time and effort with one google yielded nine entries with links to significantly more than 100 internet internet web sites and another inundated them with an increase of than 160,00 matches that are possible.
“What is noteworthy is that these lenders hawking individual commodities are Western clothes catering up to a western clientele, and their goods are touted as exotics through the developing globe, specially mostly appealing yet submissive young Asian ladies” states Pek, who’s also the play’s manager.
She asks,”Is this just one more kind of Western hegemony or perhaps is it simply flesh trade?”
Based on the play’s programme, the sheer number of “mail order marriages” between Asian ladies and Western males in 1986 ended up being projected to achieve at the least 2,000. By 1994, such marriages involving females through the Philippines and Western males had reached 19,000.
Interestingly sufficient, most the brides-to-be that is hopeful their cyberspace postings from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are Filipino females being employed as domestic helpers in these nations.
But there is however additionally a growing trend of singaporean males seeking mail-order brides from China. While only eight mainland Chinese females became the brides of Singaporean males in 1986, at the least 1,000 such marriages were held this past year.
A Chinese mail-order bride is one of the play’s four characters, since are a definite Filipino domestic helper, a Thai intercourse worker and a Singaporean “sarong party girl” – a lady whom runs after Western expatriates.
The intercourse worker, the maid therefore the Chinese bride ‘wanna-bees’ make postings on an internet site, hoping international males will save them from their unsatisfying everyday lives.
The sarong celebration woman comes upon the web site while browsing the web, is incensed, and gets sucked to the site’s talk space. The play’s half that is first 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 domestic helper whom left her work 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 russianbrides husband whom attempted to rape her additionally the intercourse worker has contracted AIDS.
Whenever ‘Mail Order’ was initially staged a year ago, the ‘Straits Times’ reviewer Clarissa Oon criticised it being an “unimaginative one-hour- plus rehash of all worst stereotypes of Asian women, Singaporean men and their Caucasian counterparts”.
The play has since been restructured, also it ended up being this variation that has been selected once the very very first entry that is asian this new York festival. But Oon continues to be critical of ‘Mail Order’ and says it nevertheless does not have an actual dialogue on which it indicates become a woman today that is asian.
Literature graduate Emma Yong, whom plays the part regarding the Filipino maid states though: “I am moved by my character’s courage. She risks every thing by advertising herself to not known strangers on the web – within the slim hope that she’ll be rescued from the life of poverty and servitude.”
Lawyer Deborah Ng, whom plays the Chinese bride, additionally claims of her character: “She’s A asia doll with a will of metal whom embarks for a journey to produce an improved future for herself by in search of a spouse.”
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, head for the Singaporean women’s association AWARE, is quite supportive associated with the play. “It is a definite feminist statement regarding the discrimination and exploitation faced by an incredible number of Asian females because they find it difficult to better their lot,” she says. “Any play that highlights the plight of women, whether or not they are underpaid, overworked, abused or raped should really be motivated.”
Pek in reality is stoked up about the notion of presenting ‘Mail purchase’ to wider audiences into the western considering that the guys who fuel the industry as well as the Web organizations that behave as the agents have a tendency to be after that. Her partner Ekachai adds that they’re now taking a look at the probability of making a production that is new of play in the usa.
“If all goes well, we aspire to jointly create it with a proven theatre company here while having it tour around America within the forseeable future” states Ekachai. they might additionally bring the play to Britain and Canada year that is next.
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 end of this play, her character says: “Maybe I’m the Occidental Oriental. No, the accidental Oriental. The initial banana. Yellow on the outside, white in the inside!”