A walk around the Village of Lime

28 10 2012

A walk I recently took was around what is one of my favourite places in Singapore and what has to be one of the more colourful districts in Singapore – the area we now refer to as Little India, an area which was referred to as “Soonambu Kambam” in Tamil or “Kampong Kapor” in Malay which translates into “The Village of Lime”. The area is one that takes a life of its own every weekend when thousands of migrant workers from the Indian sub-continent congregate in the area and one, that in the lead up to the Hindu festival of lights, Deepavali (or Diwali), takes on a very festive atmosphere not just with the annual Deepavali street light-up, but also with the Deepavali bazaars around the area.

Men playing carrom – a popular game in the Indian Sub-Continent.

The Deepavali light-up with the weekend crowd.

The Anguillia Mosque during sunset prayers.

Colours of Deepavali – a walk through a Deepavali bazaar.

Many migrant workers from India and Bangladesh congregate in the area every Sunday bringing much life and colour to Little India.

Indian sweets are popular items – jelebi, pastry soaked in very sweet syrup.

An art deco hotel building in Mayo Street – the former South Seas Hotel.

A boy watches a five foot way tailor at work on the sewing machine.

A busy hole-in-the-wall shop.

Many gather to catch up with friends.

Anywhere’s a good place to sit around and share the week’s experiences.

A busy car park.

Balls of dough – bread in the making to feed the hungry.

Even with the crowd – it is possible to find a place to have a quiet moment.

Catching up on the news – the text on the newspapers reflect the many different parts of the sub-continent the migrant workers are from.

Many makeshift food stalls appear to cater for those gathered.

The more upmarket establishments also do a roaring trade.

A celebration of light

4 11 2010

Last evening’s wonderful celebration of light, brought to us by none other than the master of wonderment, Mother Nature herself, I guess, is a fitting welcome to the Hindu Festival of Lights, or Deepavali, as it is known in Singapore. This would be celebrated by Hindus around the world tomorrow as Deepavali or Diwali to commemorate the triumph of good over evil, a central theme of the Hindu epic the Ramayana. For me, Deepavali would somehow always be remembered for the colourful cubes of coconut candy that a Sikh neighbour in Toa Payoh would invariably prepare for Deepavali. Incidentally Sikhs also celebrate Diwali, with the day being associated with several significant events in Sikhism. With this, I would like to wish all my Hindu and Sikh friends and readers a very happy Deepavali or Diwali.

Last evening's celebration of light.

Cubes of brightly coloured coconut candy similar to the ones a Sikh neighbour would prepare for Deepavali.