Fewer and fewer ethnic Chinese are willing to become members of Chinese opera crews in Thailand. How is the traditional art holding up then?
"It has been more than 50 years since we have been recruiting people of other ethnicity, because there are very few ethnic Chinese in Thailand willing to do it," the owner of a Chinese opera company said.
The members in such a traditional show has dramatically changed due to the fact that the descendants of ethnic Chinese in Thailand has been gaining more opportunities economically or educationally. Consequently, the crews have had to employ people of other ethnicities to run the show.
Most of the new crew are from the Isan region of Thailand and they don't have any knowledge of the show, not to mention the Chinese language. Therefore, it took several years for them to practice the language and performing.
"Even I don't understand anything about the show, but it seemed fancy the first time I saw a Chinese opera. The crew members take care of me like we are a family, so it encourages me to learn and practice," a new member from Sisaket Province said.
Rinse has authorized publication of this article. The original text is published here.
First Editor: Olivia Yang Second Editor: J. Michael Cole