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RealTime IT News

Traditional Singapore Play Gets the Internet Limelight

Emily of Emerald Hill, Singapore's favorite Peranakan play written in 1982, has made its way onto the Internet stage.

Sponsored by IBM, the Web site is now the virtual home for Emily of Emerald Hill.

"We see the site becoming a hotbed for the sharing of experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Through discussing Emily on the Internet, we hope that people learn a little bit more about Singapore and [the] Peranakan culture [an exclusively local culture that dates back to the time when Singapore was part of The Straits Settlement]," said Daniel Ng, integrated marketing communications manager of IBM Asean/South Asia.

Emily's prize-winning playwright, Stella Kon, who is of Peranakan heritage herself, provided the content of the Web site.

Kon drew from her treasure chest and provided the pictures of the inspiration of the play, her grandmother, and her grandmother's house on Emerald Hill. She also scanned a favorite sarong that belonged to her grandmother and used it as the site's background image.

"It is part of Singapore's major cultural export on the Web," said Kon.

In addition to exhibiting the Peranakan culture, the site also provides visitors with more information about the play, its production history, and the current Emily, Pearlly Chua who will play the role her sixtieth time in the latest staging of Emily of Emerald Hill in Singapore from May 15 to 23.

IBM is setting up a forum for Emily fans and hopes to get it ready by mid May. In the next few weeks, IBM will also launch E-experience.com as a portal to promote e-business such as Emily of Emerald Hill.

"We want to propagate e-business to the other facets of life," said Ng. "Emily of Emerald Hill is the first of many cultural events IBM will host on the Web."

Kon said she wants to keep the Emily site up for two years.