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Lancing Girls of A Happy World Book Launch


Sat Jan 13 2018, 3:00pm–5:00pm

Where: Central Public Library, 100 Victoria St, Bugis, Singapore

Restrictions: All ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: foopeiying

Guest Speaker: Vanessa Ho, Project Director of Project X - Singapore

“They practised dancing seriously; it was their life!”

“It is an ugly profession; to prostitute a commonly accepted practice.”

Glitz, glamour, and sleaze is what people may remember of the “lancing” or “dancing” cabaret girls of yesteryear. Join us for an intimate session exploring the rarely-told stories of Lancing Girls of a Happy World in Singapore. Even with few dreams to strive for, and with society’s disapproving eye, these women lived with much heart; find out how two of them set up The Happy School for impoverished children of Geylang.

The launch offers a candid sharing of Adeline Foo’s research and writing over a 14-month period. It is supported by a talk from Project X, a community based organisation established in 2008, which dispels myths about the sex worker community and addresses the gap in social services for them. How far have things changed since the time when dancing girls first accepted money for providing a service?

The music of the dance hall may have faded, but their echoes live on, connecting us to a forgotten past and inspiring us with a hopeful and charitable present.

About the author

Adeline Foo has three grandmothers: two maternal grandmothers from China, and her paternal Peranakan mama from Malacca. Between them, these remarkable women bore and raised ten children.

She is herself a mother of three, and an author of fiction books for young readers. With her children in their teens, Adeline figures that now is a good time to return to her first love: history and research.

Lancing Girls of a Happy World is Adeline’s first non-fiction book for adults, which marks a big shift in her writing career. This book draws on the special bond between a woman and a child, as deep-rooted in her as in the “lancing” girls: Adeline’s attention was transfixed when she read about two cabaret girls starting a school for children they could never have as their own.

For more information, visit Adeline Foo website.