A little reminder of home…

.. what makes me miss it whenever I’m away and what I love about it.

You know how journalists always talk about Singapore using the key word “melting pot of… (Race, Culture etc)” Sometimes I forget what it really means to live in one and forget what makes me appreciate it enough to stress that this is what makes us truly Singaporean.

What made me feel right at home on a Sunday morning was the sound of the beating Kompang (Malay Hand Drum) to welcome the bride & groom which woke me up. Even though I’m right on the 11th floor, it was loud and cheery filled with gusto and celebration. And no, it didn’t irritate me but I was up and started to think about the nice curries cooking below and started salivating LOL.

and then it dawned on me how much this makes me feel right at home. That an estate is never complete without this celebration every once in awhile. That we are not much different from any cosmo city until you experience this. And if someone were to ask me what’s unique about Singapore and a must see/attend, in a heartbeat I would have the perfect answer – Live in the heartland for a day and if u have a local friend, attend a traditional Malay/Indian/Chinese wedding! I’ve heard and experienced the big hearts of the Malays to welcome just about any race to their weddings so long you are a friend and here to bring good wishes, even if you dont have an invite! Thus explaining the location, casual-ness & overwhelming amount of food!

Like all wedding filled with traditions, the rituals and colours just speaks more than telling you about a culture. You’ll see the hostility on MRTs & shopping centres melt away, making way for bonds, friendship, laughter and community. I hope the new estates will still thrive with this sort of bustle and multi-cultural love for one another filled with activities & fun!

A typical Malay wedding, and yes this is at a void deck, grand huh! photo credits from Yahoo.sg

If I haven’t already told you enough, the highlight of the wedding was a malay guy singing “我问天“ in hokkien, better know as ” Wa Meng Ti” for an extremely long Taiwanese drama “爱“. When he was done, he closed it with “Terima Kasih”. Talk about being Rojak and totally multicultural/lingual.

I love being Singaporean and as rojakly Peranankan for reasons like these!

remnants of my childhood

little by little, fragments of my physical environment are changing as we progress as a society as a means to better our life. I miss some of them especially when you have fond memories attached to it.

You see, Singapore 20 years ago and Singapore now, kids then vs now probably don’t share the same meaning of ‘fun’.
this favourite among 80s kids

Dragon Sand pit Playground – Courtesy of Remembering Singapore

This was my favourite when i was a kid!
– Courtesy of CNNgo

Has been replaced with this:

Courtesy – Singaporesnapshots

Well, the rationale was simple, hygiene. HFMD was waiting to unleash itself onto the young in the sand. but it was the same sand that i could build sandcastles of imagination without needing to head to the beach! i had scrapes from falls in the sand but that made me pick myself up, dust the sand off and carried on playing. That could be upbringing too, but never mind separate discussion.

However fast everything is quickly being replaced for better amenities, infrastructure etc, I still love the pasar malams (night markets) that bloom once every school holiday season. There’s something about how it makes however edgy a HDB estate look like home. Even though the stuff at these pasar malams dont hold the same standard as before, it just never fails to get me excited and wanting to visit one thought I know I’m going to walk out with nothing in my hand. Except maybe a chicken wing, taiwanese sausage, fish crackers, cotton candy, cup corn – yea nothing much.
It reminds me of meeting friends just to grab something from the pasar malam akin to going to a shopping centre. then the most important of it all. When pasar malam also meant funfairs. It was family time out together, maybe that would explain why I still love the oh-so sinful cotton candy – it meant me and my brother tearing of the soft cotton fighting for the last bit of sweet and licking the paper just cause. And the funfair games where stuff could be won. and silly rides with battery operated toy cars you could ride around otherwise only drool while running around in toys-r-us.

The simple life as I last remembered it to be pristine.

its not the same anymore for me as a grown up, i wonder whats it like for kids these days…