XinYao: Singapore folk songs

I finally found a link today to watch “that girl in pinafore”. I think it’s a great local production, very authentic on the fronts of  the story line and Singlish, and it touched on the issue of xinyao, as analysed by this article. It made me feel so nostalgic that I went to research a little more about xinyao.

Xinyao, a term for Singapore folk songs, is composed and sung by Singaporeans about the life in the country. The movement started in mid 1980s and was popular in the 1990s but it started to die down come the millennium.

This genre is usually characterized by clean acoustics and ballad style lyrics, and that makes it a great way of learning the language. I now can understand and appreciate that my primary school teacher used these xinyao songs to enrich the learning experience. My favourite songs are 一步一步来 which sings about how life and expectation change as we grow older, so we should take life one step at a time and 细水长流, which talks about friendships lasting a long time and how it change over time. I think it’s very appropriate for me to take a second look at these songs about 10 years after I was first introduced to it. It is very nostalgic and very fitting, because like in the songs, I feel like I am starting a new phase in life and can ‘feel’ the songs.

If my non-Singaporean friends asks me to show them something uniquely Singapore, this will definitely be on the list.

Link for the film, if it still works:

Might be better to break it into smaller 7 minute chunks like this website does:


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