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Hanna Butler Journeys

Love in Singapore

SINGAPORE | Tuesday, 19 June 2012 | Views [1574]

I feel like I am cheating on Singapore. We just got together and only have a week, yet I have found myself back in the arms of an old flame.

India and I have had a love affair for years.  Our long distance love kept alive with yearly visits. This year our rendezvous was swapped for Singapore, but here I am eating a curry!

Little India is however an important and legitimate part of Singapore, I have no reason to feel adulterous. Indians first arrived in Singapore in 1825 as convict labourers for the British Empire. Continual migration has meant today they make up 9% of the country’s population.

It is not surprising a stroll down Serangoon Road fills my ears with Tamil voices and fills my nose with smells of Jasmine and spices. Locals sell Indian gold, statues of Hindu Gods and Bollywood films.

While this is India, this isn’t the Mother India I know so well. Singapore’s India is a smaller, nicer, finer, littler sister. No screaming car horns, cars have right of way, pedestrians wait for the signal to cross the road! She is cleaner too, rubbish bins where piles of rubbish would be in the subcontinent.

If I am to continue with cheeky metaphors of love, then tomorrow I will be with someone else – this is the joy of being in Singapore, where Indian, Chinese, Malay, Peranakan and even an Arab quarter make up this small fascinating nation.  

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