Written by Melissa Robert
Originally adapted from Sound the City
Ruihan is a busker exceptionally familiar to some of you residents. Catch him if you can, as he sings his heart out on the weekends while he relaxes from the hustle and bustle of life in Singapore.
‘It’s less about music and more about being out there and stepping outside of your comfort zone.’
According to Ruihan, busking keeps him close to society. You get to experience the nastiness you never thought you would have, but you also experience the kindness you never thought you would. Busking has engraved many lessons in him. The biggest lesson would be the realisation that there is a bigger world out there. Much bigger than the one many of us are guilty of being sheltered in.
‘Busking keeps me humble and rooted. You’re receiving gratitude from people in terms of tips. I believe that goodness in this world has to be channelled and passed on. This is more of a spiritual journey for me.’
Busking teaches you much more than it looks like it would. It has even given Ruihan some of his greatest life lessons. It makes you recognise that even the ordinary have capacity to make a difference. Gratitude is another value that busking has helped ingrain in him. The fact that he can do this is itself a privilege. Being able to stand and hold an instrument is something that many may overlook as a blessing. These capabilities are so prevalent and classified as a given that we start taking it for granted. It’s not an unknown fact that many other buskers and people out there are disabled. Observing such realities hours each weekend while busking. This really opens your heart and mind. As you see these people passing you by and dropping you tips, it serves as a reminder.
‘ If they can get along well in life, then what’s your excuse? These people are having a hard time, yet they come to you with a smile on their face and the kind of positivity that i feel i would not be able to replicate if i were in their shoes.’
According to the busker, his passion does not lie in music per se. A more accurate depiction would be that his passion lies between connecting and expression. People are connected by music in some way. And something this Ruihan has realised is that we all have much more in common than different.
‘We are more similar than we think if we take time to look for our common grounds.’
Using music to express, to be an outlet and to destress. It’s less about the music itself, but more of a channel to feelings and expressing: ‘That’s my root source of passion. This is a spiritual journey for me. If anything, busking reminds me to count my blessings.’
To find out more about Ruihan, check out his instagram @hanhankuah.