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Monday, November 17, 2008

17th of November. Mom's Birthday. A Video Retrospective

Today's my mom's birthday. Unlike last year, where I was able to celebrate the day with a whole gang of relatives like my grandma, uncle, aunt and cousins, I'm here in Tokyo. So for this event, I shall re-post some of the older videos of my mom so that you people will know her more.

My mom comes from the city of Ipoh, that's where we usually go to celebrate Chinese New Year, by visiting the family from her side. This is a video of one of those visits back in 2006.

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2006 In Ipoh

We spent a brief weekend there again during the end of the same year. My dad, Cousin Hing Yip and I hopped into a car to visit places of my mother's past (my dad's a romantic).

Weekend In Ipoh Pt. 1: Day And Night In Ipoh

Weekend In Ipoh Pt. 2: Unlocking My Mother's Past

I just realized that due to bad video compression, you can't really see my mom that clearly from the videos.

Anyway, I may have made some off-hand remarks about my mother being a singer (before marrying my dad... actually, the story of my parents' courtship had appeared on newspaper before), and while she had asked numerous times whether I could make some videos using her old songs during my last trip in Malaysia... which was, well, two weeks ago, I haven't done it.

But if you're interested about my mom's singing voice, you can check out this video. In this medley, my mom's singing can be heard during the 1:41-2:12 minute mark, the 3:54-4:10 mark, the 6:50-7:15 mark. You won't miss it since you'll see a photo of her during her segments, if you can read Chinese, look for the name 戚舜琴, interestingly, my 3rd Auntie (mom's younger sister) also sang in the medley, her photo is next to mom's, she's the one with short hair and wearing light blue shirt. I posted videos of her (3rd Auntie) comeback performance back in June, if you haven't seen it, you should see it now as well.

As you can see, even though my mom's quite tiny, she had a great voice, like the legendary Edith Piaf (who was tiny but had a great voice too). Of course, somehow there had been speculations that my mom lost her singing powers after giving birth to my cute little sister. It was a bummer: (if that sounds like the plot from CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY... well, all I can say is that, the film isn't entirely fictional *winks*)

Posing whilst newborn sister is sleeping.
The 5-year-old Swifty, with newborn little sister.

It's not everyday that you'll Google for your own mom on the Net. But today's special. I can't find much on Google, but then, I managed to dig out some interesting stuff on Baidu (China's equivalent of Google), and found a recent video interview with my mom. After marriage, my mom pulled a Momoe Yamaguchi and left showbiz, moving on to other things. And since 2000, she had been running a publishing company known to publish Buddhist-themed publications like Merit Magazine 福报 (available every 3 months), or vegetarian cookbooks like 有福同享. She's involved in numerous Buddhist-related events, humanitarian efforts and the like.

This is the video of the interview with my mom regarding a Buddhist praying ceremony that she attended.

I actually compared my mom to Edith Piaf and Momoe Yamaguchi in the same post, talk about being filial!

Happy birthday, Mom!