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Goh Yan Han
Sunday, Aug 3, 2014

Singapore

800 gather for getai at remote location

The New Paper | Goh Yan Han | Sunday, Aug 3, 2014

Despite the location being out of the way, about 800 people turned up on Tuesday night to enjoy the getai concert.

An industrial estate is an unusual place for a getai concert.

For foreign worker Jotish Chandradas, Yew Tee Industrial Estate is a location he is familiar with as he has been working in the area for 17 years.

On Tuesday night, he and his friends cycled past a field near the industrial estate and stopped to watch a getai concert being held there.

Mr Chandradas, who works at a petroleum company at Sungei Kadut Industrial Estate, has watched getai performances at the field before. The 39-year-old and his friends do not know when exactly the annual concert is held, but they watch it if they come across it.

Mr Chandradas said: "Although we don't understand the language, we like to hear them (the performers) sing and watch them dance. It's something different and exciting."

Although the venue is somewhat remote, about 800 people turned up at what is usually an empty field near Yew Tee Industrial Estate on Tuesday.

The concert was organised by a committee comprising people working at the industrial estate.

Instead of the usual rows of red chairs for the audience, the seating arrangement was like that of a banquet dinner, with red chairs dotting the area near the stage.

Guests and others

The banquet crowd made up the majority of the audience, with 78 tables occupied by employees from the industrial estate and their guests.

There were also about 60 others who were there on their own.

Small groups of foreign workers clustered at the fence near the stage, straining their necks to catch a glimpse of the acts.

There were more than 10 items in the show, which ran from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

There was also an auction during the show and the crowd placed bids on hampers and several electrical appliances.

Some members of the audience have been frequenting the event for years since Yew Tee Industrial Estate began organising the annual concert more than 30 years ago in conjunction with the Chinese Seventh Month festivities.

Mr Shaun Toh, in his 30s, paid for two tables and invited 19 family members and colleagues. He has been doing so for five years. The director of Yew Tee Automobile Tech said: "I bring them here so we can all enjoy the music."

A spokesman for the concert's organising committee said: "The atmosphere here is very good.

"It's different from that of HDB estates because we can play the music louder here and not worry about residents complaining."

gyanhan@sph.com.sg

This article was published on Aug 1 in The New Paper.

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