Photo credit: Lee Jia Jing


Lee Jia Jing, 22, is a creative professional who prides herself in being part of the Teochew Opera community.

Having Teochew roots, she is passionate about the community and has a desire to see its heritage being more exposed to others. She continues to give back by producing traditional and contemporary opera performances in hopes of inspiring young performers with the art form through her singing and organisation. She shares some lessons that she has learnt along her journey thus far.

If you never try something, you will never know

Personally, getting into Teochew Opera was daunting, I did not know if I would like it or if I was cut out for it. Taken from a line in Coldplay’s song “Fix You”, since you only live once, why not give something that interests you a shot? Only by truly immersing yourselves in it will you be able to understand it for what it is. And likewise, it’s also only through unexpected experiences that you will be able to realise and unleash a whole new side of you.

You are stronger than what you think you are

More often than not, we may not think that we are able to do it because of our past experience, but it is quite the contrary, we are filled with so much potential. So when the going gets tough, never give up – if you don’t push yourself, no one will and that will stunt your growth. Keep going and one day, you will be able to do something you never imagined you could. Personally , that was the discomfort of getting on that opera stage.

No matter how many times you fall down, keep standing back up – even if it’s with the help of a friend

Only through your downfalls will you be able to realise that it is perfectly fine to ask for help from the people around you. While it is okay to push ourselves, we also need to learn to accept that as human beings, we need help from one another from time to time – no matter how “strong” we think we are. What’s more important is the willingness to try again.

Put yourself out there and be ready to accept any challenges that may come your way

I have always believed in the importance of putting yourself out “into the wild”, because it has definitely been one of the most effective ways of learning for me. It is only by putting yourself out there that you will get to experience what it is like in the real world, and thereby growing and evolving into a better version of yourself.

Love yourself first

As human beings, we have both good and bad days. Only by loving and embracing yourself sufficiently will you be able to live past whatever comes your way. When the going gets tough, look back and see how far you’ve come and thank yourself for pushing forward to make it this far.

Look back at everything that happens in a positive light

Whatever comes your way – good or bad – happens for a reason. So instead of brooding and fretting over something you can’t change, learn to look at things in a different light – a positive light. These lessons are the reason why you are who you are today.

Stay true to yourself and remember why you did what you have done

In this world, where there are so many wants and desires, always do what you do while staying true to yourself. Only by not losing sight of yourself and remembering why you did what you’ve done so far will you be able to achieve inner peace.

This article was published on Aug 14, 2021

You may like these