Memories of Our Dialects

Workshops with the Geylang East Home for the Aged
Co-presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

The sound of our dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew, Hakka and Cantonese, are fast becoming alien to many of us. For the generation of elderly who continue to speak in dialect, they lived through an era without the television, where the radio box was their main source of entertainment. Many of them grew up with memories of radio dramas and the voices of notable broadcasters and storytellers.

Our elderly is a treasure trove of our history and heritage. This community project with the elderly from Geylang East Home for the Aged aims to capture some of their memories, and highlights how people from different backgrounds can come together to make Singapore their home.

To record their personal aural memories, a series of 10 workshops with 15 elderly was conducted to produce their own mini radio dramas. Personal memories of the elderly were amassed over two chit-chat sessions and the content was then further developed into short anecdotes. The elderly went through a series of workshops and rehearsals to learn how to relate these anecdotes before their voices were recorded and edited into short radio dramas.

Click here to listen to the short radio dramas.