Friday, February 23, 2018

Exodus? Wanderer? Migration? Home. By A Wayfarer: Part 2

8th February 2020 (Update):
With the Wuhan virus at its worse, how many Chinese citizens who live and work overseas have gone home but have not met their loved ones after two weeks in their own country. 

Because of the clampdown on travel, entry and exit, all of them were not allowed to go back to their own hometown. There are no statistics but read the end of this article about the old man who went down on his knees to beg for a ticket so that he could go home to his loved ones.

Up to 2000 readers  
since its publication 

A new writer for this post, A Wayfarer, was teaching with me in the same faculty at one of the universities in Singapore. Here's her take on the Chinese song, The Olive Tree by Qu Yi which I posted last week. 

This song is so popular that it is even sung by singers all over the world, regardless of race. The YouTube video is by Sara Niemietz

Thanks so much, A Wayfarer.

橄榄树 (Olive Tree) - Vocals and Video by Sara Niemietz. Thank you, Sara.

"When I played the clip, the first strains of the melody and lyrics made me realise this is a song from my youth, from my past. I cannot recall when I first heard it. The movie? The radio? Perhaps sung at a karaoke session?  It is an old song and an old style song. Is it still played often?

Regardless, when I heard it for the first time and again now I cannot help but be struck by the haunting melody and the sense of longing and loneliness; of a person adrift. He is far from his homeland and his home, its beauty, the warmth and all that is good.

The beauty of the landscape and the olive tree is distant - a land far, far away and memory from long ago. Is this his actual homeland, or as he believes he remembers it to be? Was it so, or is it his idealized vision of it?  

A permanent migration, going adrift and far from their homeland, is sad indeed.

Whichever be the case, the reality is he is far from it. He wants to go back to it, he wants to attain this, but the reality is he wandering and a wanderer, alone, and lonesome.

The lyrics are simple, the music uncomplicated but so sad.

We who live on this tiny island and who have the means to travel at whim may find it difficult to appreciate vastness, vast distances and the feelings of separation. This song speaks to those who have experienced this. 

And that is the reason the multitudes of those who had left their hamlets, their villages, their towns, and even their cities to wander elsewhere, heed the siren call of the Spring Festival and the Reunion to make their way "home".

Animal migration in Africa as suggested by 'A Wayfarer' in this article.

When you compared the return home of the workers from wherever they are to return home as a "migration", there cannot be a more apt word. I immediately thought of the great migrations of the wildebeest, the caribou, and the salmon. The long, arduous and definitely perilous journeys they make to go "home".  

Brings to mind the news article about the old, Chinese man who queued so hard to buy a ticket home but was unsuccessful and couldn't buy it online because he was both illiterate and worse, computer illiterate, until he kneeled in front of the station master to beg for a ticket.

What do you think?"

You can read Part 1. Click below:

The annual trip home for the Chinese to meet for their family reunion.

Article: An original by A Wayfarer.

Images: Google.
YouTube Video: Acknowledged.


Anonymous said...

This song always touches my heart when i hear it. The whole song just brings out all the sadness and sorrows that couldnt be at home.

It just led me to think of the older generation of immigrants who settled down in SG but couldnt go home. Also working in abroad and couldnt find a matching job to settle down in SG.

Or animals whose home were being destroyed by natural disaster or human being. They have to move...lucky ones may be well-taken care in zoo but with less freedom.

Nevertheless this song is so classic that I would like to listen once a while but not everyday song.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you, Richard Khan ( October Cherries) for writing this piece. I don't know why your writing is ANONYMOUS. Will rectify somehow.

It's true that we feel homesick when we listen to certain songs. Your reply is sensitive and provides a true picture of people and animals who have lost their homes. I think one needs to experience such a dilemma to understand the true meaning of the lyrics in OLIVE TREE.