SINGAPORE, Nov 17 1998 (IPS) – Commerce-savvy Singapore just isn’t someone to skip the potential for cashing in on company on the net. Using the alleged “E-commerce” predicted to improve five-fold this season and achieve some 34 billion bucks, the island state is busily attempting to place it self while the web business hub associated with the East. Singaporeans themselves are already one of the an incredible number of consumers regarding the shopping that is virtual. If the reaction to a neighborhood play right here is any indicator, a number of Singaporeans are perhaps not planning to disregard the disadvantage of cyber shopping.
Certainly, since the play ‘Mail Order Brides and Other Oriental Takeaways’ points out, “the Web” has not yet just provided such product as 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 season. But which was extended by per week till Oct 29 as a result of demand that is popular. Presently there are intends to re-stage it for the next week during the early December.
During a unique performance in the nyc Overseas Fringe Festival in August, the play additionally received high praise from experts. The ‘New York Times’ has since included ‘Mail Order’ in its Fringe Selection list.
“The event office told us that ‘Mail Order Brides’ had been among the best-attended programs at the Festival. We had standing ovations by the end of just about all shows,” boasts producer and director that is artistic Uekrongtham.
‘Mail Order’ arrived on the scene of Ekachai’s and Pek’s want to compose one thing about “the apparently impossible love” involving the bargirls of Bangkok’s Patpong red-light region and their Caucasian customers.
“We soon realised that the Patpong girl is certainly not alone”, recalls Ekachai. “All over Asia, huge number of Asian ladies fancy the exact same fantasy to be taken far from poverty or tradition-bound lifestyles by guys from more developed nations.”
Included in their research, a Web was done by them search, utilising the expression “mail purchase brides.” The time and effort with one internet search engine yielded nine entries with links to significantly more than 100 web web web sites and another inundated them with over 160,00 matches that are possible.
“What is noteworthy is that these firms hawking human being commodities are Western clothes providing up to a western clientele, and their items are touted as exotics through the developing globe, specially mostly attractive yet submissive young Asian ladies” claims Pek, that is additionally the play’s manager.
She asks,”Is this still another type of Western hegemony or perhaps is it simply flesh trade?”
Based on the play’s programme, the amount of “mail order marriages” between Asian ladies and men that are western 1986 had been calculated to attain at the least 2,000. By 1994, such marriages involving ladies through the Philippines and Western guys 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 ladies being employed as domestic helpers in these countries.
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 as well as the Chinese bride ‘wanna-bees’ make postings on an internet site, hoping international guys will save them from their unsatisfying life.
The party that is sarong comes upon the internet site while browsing the internet, is incensed, and gets sucked in to the site’s talk space. The play’s half that is first a variety 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 my ukrainian brides org left her work in Singapore to marry a U.S. soldier was raped by their buddy; the Chinese mail-order bride is with in prison for stabbing her Singaporean husband whom attempted to rape her as well as 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 of the worst stereotypes of Asian females, Singaporean men and their Caucasian counterparts”.
The play has since been restructured, plus it ended up being this version which was selected because the very first entry that is asian this new York event. But Oon stays critical of ‘Mail Order’ and says it nevertheless lacks a genuine discussion on just what it indicates become a woman today that is asian.
Literature graduate Emma Yong, whom plays the role associated with Filipino maid claims though: “I am relocated by my character’s courage. She risks every thing by marketing herself to not known strangers on the net – when you look at the slim hope that she’s going to be rescued from a life of poverty and servitude.”
Lawyer Deborah Ng, whom plays the Chinese bride, additionally states of her character: “She’s A china doll having a might of metal whom embarks on a journey in order to make an improved future for herself by in search of a spouse.”
Pek by herself is unperturbed by remarks that the play presents stereotypes, retorting, “We are seeing these plain things taking place at our very own doorstep.”
Dr Phyllis Chew, head associated with Singaporean women’s association AWARE, is extremely supportive associated with the play. “It is an obvious 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 females, whether or not they are underpaid, overworked, abused or raped should really be motivated.”
Pek in reality is worked up about the notion of presenting ‘Mail purchase’ to wider audiences within the western since the guys who fuel the industry while the Web businesses that behave as the agents have a tendency to there be from. Her partner Ekachai adds that they’re now studying the chance for developing a production that is new of 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 when you look at the not too distant future” states Ekachai. They might additionally bring the play to Britain and Canada the following year.
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, whom plays the Singaporean party woman.
Toward the 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 in the inside!”