Date Posted: 2004-06-28 18:47:17
There is excitement at the MAG 8:30am morning meeting, or maybe it`s just me, knowing that in a few days I will be leaving.
Over the past week we`ve been painting a backdrop, making props, and organising people and stuff.
Todays meeting is mostly about the performance today at Houy Sai Khao school.
People have heard that the rehearsal yesterday was fantastic and rumour has it that we`ve got a very talented drama group.
It`s pouring down rain... This is a small issue, but in the great Thai way, mie pen rai, I am assured `don`t worry`. The reason why I worry is because the women from Mida Chur Mong and half of the audience have a 30min drive in the back of a ute to get to the venue!
All goes well, only about 10% of the audience is soaked. Also the performers are spared.
The proceedings work a treat, Jeed is the MC, while we wait for the two ute loads of volunteers and staff of MAG I play drama games with Doa Prakai in front of the school. It`s a nice warm up for the kids, and a good way to show everyone what we`ve been up to.
The utes arive, people rush in from the rain with video camera`s and groovy digital camera`s. Jeed and I begin the powerpoint presentation. It`s all about selling drama and CCD to the community as a way to look at maintaining Akha culture and pride. We also show photo`s of the process and give the participants feedback, and they give us feedback.
Then the show begins! The first item is the coolest crew of Akha boys, they sing an Akha song made famous by the one and only Akha Kararoke superstar, Dom bor chor, it even has a rap. The boys are all wearing Jeeds funky collection of sunclasses.
Then a group of girls from Doa Prakai present their story about the dangers of mosquitto`s. The three mozzies are too cute for words and really steal the show! The audience especially enjoyed this one.
Then the women from Mida Chur Mong present a famous Akha legend. The children are transfixed to see the elders performing in Akha language and singing Akha song. The children are silent.
But then comes along the next piece from Doa Prakai, a show all about Yaa baa, a local drug. Boys being boys, it`s got alot of violence in it (also a good excuse for me to teach unarmed combat), and ends in a blood bath, ( a good excuse for the kids to play up the melodramatic)
And for our final piece Mida Chur Mong return with the drama about daily life, we include old games and old songs, again it`s a real hit with the kids.
And finally everyone is on stage for the famous song O e ma day,...
Words can`t describe really. But I think that the women over the past two days have really felt the power of performing to the kids. Initially they told us they would like to use drama to teach the younger generation about Akha Zang, which they feel is being lost. Well today it was one of the first times that the children saw performers that spoke their mother tongue.
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