Italians at Chingay Parade, Singapore’s Carnival!

A new colorful milestone for Italians in Asia. FABItalia team has been the very first Italian-local-based team to ever perform in Chingay Parade (Singapore). It is the biggest Asian Carnival, introduced by the President and the Prime Minister of the city state. Nine nationalities took active part in the team, that represented not only Italian Culture, but also the wonderful kaleidoscope of the little red dot. Their performance will be available on Channel 8 (, on Sunday 4 March 2018, from 7pm to 9pm. The most important Chinese Singaporean newspaper, Lian He Zao Bao, also put in the spotlight this multicultural group of people reunited and directed by Fabrizio Righi, founder of FABItalia Lifestyle.

So carnival is celebrated not only in Italian cities as Viareggio and Venice, in houses and streets with adults and children in costume. Carnival is famous everywhere, with the Brazilian one attracting millions of tourists. And wherever there are Italians around the world, they celebrate Carnival in February.

Italian presence has not been missed in Singapore on 23-24 February 2018, when the largest street performance and float parade in Asia with a National Event, Chingay, which epitomises the dynamism of the City-State’s vibrant and multicultural society, took place. The word “Chingay” itself comes from Hokkien dialect, equivalent to Mandarin “Zhuang Yi”, meaning the “Art of Costume and Masquerade”.

The first Chingay was mooted by the then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, to compensate the ban of fireworks used during Chinese New Year with the joy, colors, and music of the parade. At the beginning it depicted aspects of Chinese culture, with dragon and lion dances, martial arts, and street opera, then it gained a multicultural aspect from 1976, with its first foreign group in 1987; it became a uniquely Singaporean Lunar New Year tradition, and today is an international festival followed by hundreds press agencies and televisions, celebrated by the Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian, foreigners alike. It is fully a treasured glimpse into the different cultures of Singapore and the world. Here race, language, creed are no barriers. Here people celebrate together as one.

In this framework the historical presence of the Italian-mixed-with-locals group FABItalia Lifestyle, chosen to represent our country, active in promotion of Italian culture, language, and cuisine, with the participation of 27 friends from 9 nationalities its own (Singapore, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Madagascar, UK, and Italy). In 2009 and 2015 there has been another group, invited by Italian Government, “Gli Sbandieratori di Pisa” to participate in Chingay, however FABItalia is the first group representing fusion between Italian and local, originated of Singapore. And this is a milestone for the relations of Italians and Singaporeans. FABItalia is the realized dream of Fabrizio Righi, former emergency manager for EU and Caritas Internationalis, in Singapore MOE Educator, qualified L2D and PA Italian Cuisine Chef, language teacher, and organizer of promotional activities regarding Italy in Language, Culture, Cuisine, and Lifestyle.

The choreography includes a dynamic part in movement, with standard dancing steps performed by all of the groups (there will be around 7000 dancers), and a static part where every group can express its own cultural identity. FABItalia chose costumes idealistically representing Italian regional tradition, with women dressed with skirt, bandana, vest, and shirt in white, red, and green, while men dress a more goliardic blue savoy and white shorts, with a three-color wig, symbolizing the spirit of the Carnival. Tamburines, tarantella, Venetian masks give a cultural note to the performance of the group. There has been a lot of involvement and work, with preparation, meetings, practice, rehearsals, and coordination with the local organization, which represents the commitment and professionalism of Singapore. A special mention for the organizer, Fabrizio Righi.

(Valentina Righi - BOOP.NEWS)

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