Ladies' nights are popular around the world. But Jim Chim Sui-man (pictured) has given them a new twist: housewives' night. The popular stage comedian launched on Thursday a series spanning 11 days. The show on January 2 has been designated as see lai's night, the Cantonese slang for housewives.
Anyone who claims to be a see lai - including boys, men, girls and unmarried women - can get a free ticket to the show. The aim, he said, was to cheer up as many fans as possible in this economic downturn. But why then call it see lai's night? The slang used to be a derogatory term to describe married women who are middle-aged, overweight, low-key, generally unsexy or unattractive, and who rarely put on makeup. But a spokeswoman for Jim said the comedian more than anyone else in the city has given the slang a positive spin that has been generally adopted within local culture. 'Many people now use it to describe themselves, or a particular attitude that they consider positive, because of Jim's good-natured comic routines about local housewives,' she said.
The new and improved meaning for the slang now applies to people, male and female, who are family-oriented, frugal and conscientious, and often have a sense of humour and irony. So what's the title of his latest stage series? It's a long one: 'Every see lai celebrates the end of awful 2008 with pig-liver soup.' Why the soup, you ask? Because it sounds exactly like the phrase for 'new and expensive jewellery' in Cantonese.