Sunday, October 26, 2008

Little India in Singapore

It's funny how I've lived here all my live, and I thought I have exeprienced all the four main dominant cultures here in Singapore - Chinese, Indian, Malay, Eurasian - but Saturday night made me realise how wrong I was.

I can't say for all Singaporeans, but for most of us, being in a multi racial country means you get to taste food from all cultures.Which is great for us because we love to eat! It's not difficult being able to tell a Singaporean Chinese from the others. There was this joke about a Singaporean being in a restaurant.

"Sir, what would you like for your dessert?" Asks the waiter as he clears the unfinished plate from the main course.

The Singaporean touches his bulging tummy, and replies as he shakes his head, "Oh no no, I am too full."

"But this is part of your dinner set meal, Sir." The waiter reminds.

"OF COURSE! Bring it in!" Retorts the Singaporean.

Singaporeans.. well, we love our food. That's why it's called the Food Paradise here.

Joke aside, tasting a culture doesn't mean living the culture. And I had the priviledge to do that just Saturday night. Deepavali, the Indian Festive, like Chinese New Year for the Chinese, or Christmas for the French and English, if I could strike such a comparison, falls on the coming Monday. Since it's the Festival of Lights, it wasn't surprising that they had lit up the whole of Little India for this occasion.

One main thing I took away from all this: The Indians are such great craftsmen! Here are some pictures from the walk through Little India.

This is a typical sweet shop. A variety of cakes, and pastries are given to friends and relatives on Deepavali who come to visit. It's very similar to Chinese New Year actually. Julien tried Gulab Jamun here. It gave him stomach discomforts after. Not because it was bad or anything. It was just.... too sweet.

These shoes were all hand made. Unfortunately they came only in kid's size. The beads here were hand sewn individually.

These flower garlands are made by tying the flowers together with cord. I wonder how many flowers are used to make just one, and how long it might take too.

Julien pouting for the camera. What a night.

We came across this lamp shop there and they had the most amazing creations! Julien had picked me up and slung me across his shoulders slauntering away while I was still haggering with the stall owner for a discount.

A beautiful hand crafted side table or bed table. Just one of the many beautiful things we saw at the furniture shop. There was another item that was so intelligently made in my opinion. The shop owner showed us these stacks of what looked like wood crafted plate holders. I had thought to myself I would never pay that kind of amount for just wood that you put your plates of food on. Then he yanked at some part of that flat wood and that 2D plate like looking thing became a 3D fruit basket!!! Unfortunately, we were too amazed to remember to take a picture of that item.

Julien was more interested in the "other" furniture.

When or if you come to Singapore, do make time to visit an Indian temple. It is a work of art! These statues are carefully and painstakingly hand carved from stone. After which, they would be individually painted. That's why it usually takes a few years to build one temple like that. Each statue represents a deity that they worship. And yes, there are MANY.

We decided to take a short break before we headed to Mustafa Centre - a 24 hour mall that sells anything and everything that you can think of. I kid you not. It's so huge we got lost a couple of times.

That's it for now. Salut!


micheltdt said...

Very interesting post in your blog, your descriptions of Little India and the atmosphere there are excellent! I hope we shall enjoy it too, next time we go there! Kisses.

prawnkid said...

you got lost in Mustafa again?!
the last time i brought you there, you were lost too... while talking to julien on the phone... now you are lost with him beside you...

how can?!

Tinker said...

Prawnkid.. unfortunately, yes. That place is just too big to explore in one day.