Tag Archives: Parade

Short story: We All Proclaim

By Tan Kaiyi

Singapore flag on HDB

I was setting up the livestream on the living room’s television when Ma called. “Ah Boon, hand me the gift packs on the table.” I ignored her for the moment, playing around with the video settings. Finally, the words “The Parade Will Start In…” appeared on screen, followed by a countdown timer below them.

There was an ongoing discussion to call the parade ‘a ceremony’. I remember a member of the opposition questioning a minister of the ruling party on the choice of words. “It’s a show of power, of our strength,” the minister had said. “Is it? Many performances seem more like acts of reverence, not deterrence,” his opponent had fired back. She had a point though. The parade usually began with protective blessings from the leaders of our four major religions.

But nothing changed. It was still called a parade.

Ma shouted for me again. I yelled back, saying that I heard her.

I took up the four scarlet packs, one for each of us, from the dining room table and walked into the kitchen. There used to be five but that was two years ago. Read more

Inner-city life, and the banal mystery that is other people

“Parade” by Suichi Yushida was originally published in Japan in 2002

Beautifully banal. Perhaps not the most positive-sounding turn of phrase, but the one that best summarizes the appeal of Shuichi Yoshida’s interwoven narrative of five young adults and their struggles living in an overcrowded Tokyo apartment.

Ryosuke Sugimoto is 21, finishing college and sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend. Mirai Soma, 24, splits her time unequally between frustrated artistic ambitions, running an imported-goods boutique and drinking her way around the trendiest gay bars. At 23, beautiful Kotomi Okochi is wasting her life sitting by the phone, waiting for a call from her pseudo-boyfriend and ignoring her clear symptoms of depression. Naoki Ihara, approaching 30, is the closest to a real adult, finally gaining some traction in his filmmaking career but is still in a weirdly codependent relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

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