Monday January 5, 2009
Hokkien song contest winner who does not speak the dialect
By ANN TAN
GEORGE TOWN: Lau Wan Yin does not speak Hokkien but she beat 49 others to win an international Taiwanese singing competition that was held using the Chinese dialect.
Wan Yin, 12, who triumphed in the International Hokkien Singing Competition, has been dubbed “Queen of Hokkien Songs” by the Taiwanese press.
Another two Penangites, Yang Wei Qing and Luo Rui Zhan, an Indian boy adopted by a Chinese family who cannot speak Tamil, won the Best Showmanship subsidiary title. Wan Yin said she learned the songs by listening and imitating the singers.
“My clan dialect is Teochew, so while I can understand Hokkien, I cannot speak it,” she said after returning with her parents, Tan Pooi Lin and Lau Kwi Sea at the Penang International Airport yesterday.
“Singing is different because you sing to the melody and there is not much emphasis on pronunciation.”
Wan Yin from Bukit Mertajam, won RMB30,000 (RM15,000) on Wednesday with the song, titled Yuen Fen (Soulmate).
She said all she could remember during the competition was shivering on the cold open-air stage.
“I never expected to win. All I wanted was to gain some experience and get to know new friends,” she said.
Wan Yin, who was the second runner-up in the Astro Hua Hee Tai Karaoke 2008 competition held last September, was among the eight Malaysian contestants who took part in the competition, which started on Nov 27. She beat Fan Ya Han from Taiwan and China’s Lin Shu Xiang during the finals.
Wan Yin said she did not plan to venture into entertainment as she wanted to concentrate on her studies. “My ambition is to be a doctor. To make it come true, I must strive harder in my studies,” said Wan Yin, who begins Form One at SMJK Chung Ling today.