The Village of Lime on the Eve of Deepavali

25 10 2022

Singapore, with its multi-cultural influences, is a city of festivals. Deepavali (or Diwali), the Hindu festival of lights that commemorates the triumph of good over evil was celebrated on Monday, just as decorations in anticipation of Christmas began making an appearance along Orchard Road.

Deepavali is one of two festivals, the other being Pongal, that is celebrated in a big way in Little India. Known as Serangoon, and also the village of lime, Soonambu Kambam or Kampong Kapor, Little India is one of Singapore’s three precincts that has retained an ethnic flavour. Recently named as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods for 2022, the precinct comes alive in the lead up to the two festivals. Not only is there a street light-up that in my opinion tops the annual Christmas light-up at Orchard Road, the neighbourhood also sees a often more than lively festive bazaar.

The festivities bring much life and colour to Little India, and certainly puts one in the mood to celebrate — especially this year with most Covid-19 pandemic restrictions lifted. With the eve of Deepavali falling very conveniently on a Sunday — a day when throngs of Singapore’s South Asian guest workers make their way to Little India, the streets seemed even busier with crowds descending on the precinct to soak in the atmosphere and to make last minute purchases of festive snacks and sweets, clothes, jewellery and festive decorations.

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