All posts filed under: Travel

Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore

I gave my French housemate Gregory Hérail the very happening Singaporean movie titled 881. The movie is a musical-comedy drama based on the ‘Getai’ (literally ‘song stage’ in Chinese) scene in Singapore that occurs during the Hungry Ghost Festival. Decided to upload some pictures on what it is like during the month long Hungry Ghost Festival. The Hungry Ghost Festival involves lots of burning of joss sticks, paper maids, paper bungalows, paper clothes and offerings such as biscuits, fruits etc. to deities, wandering spirits & ancestors. It is believed that whatever we burn will reach our ancestors (if this is the case, I’m guessing it is a lot greener and foresty in the underworld considering how jungles are being burnt in Indonesia). It is a rather smokey, and at times, eerie scene. Paper ‘money’ are tossed in the air to pass money or other things to the wandering spirits. For some strange reason, some people are shouting ‘HUAT AH’ (get rich ah!) as they toss paper money in the air. I doubt the shouting of …

To-Do List for moving abroad to Kecskemét, Hungary for First-Time Parents Part 2

I wrote both entries for “To-Do List for moving abroad to Kecskemét, Hungary for First-Time Parents” in September last year. This way overdue blog still seems relevant and Part 2 concludes this segment. Hope this helps! Accommodation If you’re travelling with wife and kids in tow, it might be better if you rent a house or apartment in town instead of trying for the institute’s hostels. This not only affords you and your significant other privacy (common baths in the basement of the institute with separation between the sexes of course) but also the necessary space when needing to discipline naughty, crying children. If you’re worried about getting lost, DON’T! Kecskemét is a very easy town to navigate compared with Beijing or New York. It would be wise to write in to the institute’s administrator Dr Laura Kéri (affectionately known as Zita) early, state clearly your needs and allow her at least a month or more to ask around and find suitable accommodations based on your requests. A lot of work is being covered at …

Studying at the Kodaly Institute

Decided to post this in response to some queries on what studying at the Kodaly Institute is like. Disclaimer: Do note that the following information is based purely personal perspectives of masters studies at the Kodaly Institute for the academic year of 2011-2012 and should not be taken as official information. Do note also that the Kodaly Institute is always reviewing and renewing itself and modifications are made based on the recommendations of previous batches of students, so course structure or programmes may see modifications from year to year. It would be best to check with official institute administrators/lecturers or with recent graduates or alumni for the latest information. What is the music culture like in the institute and in Hungary? There are guest performers at the institute, performances by lecturers and/or their choirs in Kecskemet, and sometimes, buses are arranged for performances in Budapest. Performances are generally interesting and of good quality. Big names perform at MUPA every so often as well (Singapore’s Esplanade equivalent). Students who are looking for a platform to perform …

Important Places for Kecskemet Kodaly Institute Students Part 3

Welcome to the final installment of ‘Important Places for Kecskemet Kodaly Institute Students’! Kodaly Memorial, Calvinist Church, Town Hall & Big Church Exit institute, turn left. Walk towards the square. On your right is the beautiful Kodaly memorial and Calvinist church. Head towards the ‘street’ between the big yellow church and the town hall (the beautiful building with the most amazing set of carillon bells that play well-known melodies… if you pay attention in Hungarian Music History class, you might actually identify quite a few of those) 🙂 Tourist Information Centre If this is your first time to Kecskemet, this place might be of some help. The Tourist Information Centre of Kecskemet can be found nestled in the corner between the town hall & big church. For other things, keep walking straight. Hair-cut I usually get my haircut in this building. The men’s on the ground floor. You can’t miss it when you walk straight. Before crossing the road to the hairdresser’s, if you turn right, you should see Malom in the distance. (Scroll down …