Most of the ethnic communities in Singapore still practise rural traditions of their village ancestors from many years ago. One of the traditions that continue to charm visitors today is the classic folk dance, existing across cultures though the various dances themselves may differ.
Visiting artists from India brought with them the dance of the courtesans, both graceful and aggressive, to local Singaporean stages. Malay folk dances are the result of foreign influences brought about by passing travellers. For example, the Zapin has Arab roots while the Joget adopts the lightness of movement from Portuguese folk dance.
The Chinese, meanwhile, know quite a variety of traditional folk dances, an art inherited from their ancestors who migrated to Singapore from various parts of China. From the Han province comes the dance of the Rice Harvest, performed with authentic sieves to depict young girls harvesting crop under the hot sun. Chinese folk dances such as these are performed every year during the Chingay Festival.