Monday, December 27, 2010

화려한역사 (華麗的人類史 ; History Revisited )

My sister had a performance at the Raffles Hotel last Tuesday, and hence I got the chance to enter their auditorium, the Jubilee Hall. Like the hotel itself, this hall is built as a Western construction highlighted with Asian details; the cross-cultural sentiment is a good entry in the textbooks for history, art, or architecture class. Meanwhile, the cross cultural motif can also be approached from its Western colonial origin.
上周二去萊佛士酒店觀賞姊姊社團的公演,場地在Jubilee Hall(有夠英國的命名啊),和該旅館整體建築一樣,有著中西合璧的風格,堪做歷史、美術史、甚至建築史教科書的範例。這種中西合璧的主題若從另一個角度來看便不全然光彩,畢竟這種文化融合的場景往往發生在血淋淋的西方殖民活動之下。

Along the Singapore river, I was once taking a walk with my colleague, MH, who majored in hotel management and has done internship in a 5 star hotel in Singapore. Overlooking those luxury hotels, she sighed, "Look at them, splendid outside, but dreadfully dark inside. Besides the management level, every worker is treated undesirably." In this highly modernized, Westernized cosmopolis, at the scene of Indian doormen or Malay security guards or Filipino waitresses or Chinese cleaners (or the smiles on their Caucasian masters' faces), I feel like stepping into few centuries back, when the West and the East met, the East India Companies prospered with slave trade and etc, and then I couldn't help but wonder, had history really evolved?
Raffles Hotel - A Taste of Historical Fusion

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