Sunday, November 07, 2010

All About Jiwang


A colloquial Malay word that encompasses anything, and everything, dealing with a nauseating surfeit of emotion. A terribly apt term I've surprisingly come to associate with much of Mando-pop.

For a taciturn race seemingly tough, unemotional and pragmatic, the Chinese have come up with a bewildering anthology of music dedicated to heartbreak with all the affliction, agony and anguish. Sentimental mush if you will.

Or what I call weep, whimper & whine wails.

Can't I wallow just a bit longer?

Rather than the liberated cries of freedom from the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Pink, over here on this side we have the stereotypical Mando-pop music video featuring the sad, lonesome figure manfully trying to hold back tears while sighing / languishing in a dimly-lit abandoned residency. Crouched in corners. Staring at mirrors. Occasionally juxtaposed with lingering views of a desolate, bleak, windswept landscape.

There could be impending storms as well.

Once exposed - and hooked - to such regrettably jiwang music, I defy anyone to remain unmoved by such pathos. Certainly explains the extreme sentimentality of the regular listeners of Mandarin radio.

Hell, even the usually feisty A-Mei 阿妹 has an entire set of heart-rending sob stories for your listening pleasure. Staples of karaoke fans such as Charming Calvin. :)

Paul : Umm... Was A-Mei weeping over her lost kite in the video?
Calvin : No.
Paul : Why are they always weeping in dark, lonely rooms?
Calvin : Heartbreak lo.
Paul : They can't turn the lights on?
Calvin : Heartbreak lo.
Paul : Wallowing in self-pity won't help. Stop whimpering pathetically in dingy corners and go buy a new dress dammit!
Calvin : They don't have such songs in Chinese.
Paul : Buy dumplings then?
Calvin : No.

In direct contrast to the music I usually listen to. Never listen to wimpy James Blunt with his tearful tour de force of You're Beautiful of course. Sure I do have the occasional lovey-dovey strains of a winsome Taylor Swift but even Miss Goody-Two-Shoes has her angry moments.

Doesn't that explain the differing views on what constitutes a relationship?


William said...

Gerakan Anti-Emo?

john chen said...

brilliant post! hahaha! i grew up listening to tagalog jukebox songs and hokkien love songs and they're all like that!

Legolas said...

A Mei has angry songs as well, try 爱什么稀罕. But Mando Pop is so emo and fun! And I love that A Mei song 掉了, favourite karaoke song as of now.

Mr.D said...

Maybe Chinese are just more romantic?

Life for Beginners said...

All Hail Jiwang Pop! :P

Little Fox said...

hey there am wondering if we can contact each other via MSN...drop me a mail (get the email from my profile)


Little Fox said...

or get it from calvin/tuls/koala

savante said...

We should really start a club, william.

Hokkien love songs! You must sing them, john!

She does have nice songs. And I do like her, legolas.

Seemingly so, Mr D.

Don't encourage the lot, life :)

Got it, lil fox!