The Singapore Diary: Research

Honestly I was torn apart because I wanted to do both on Marine Terrace, which I had lived in perpetually my whole life (or as long as I can remember before I moved 2 years ago), and Chinatown. However, I had already went back to Marine Terrace during my last semester for 4D I so this time I decided to work on Chinatown instead.

Why Chinatown? It recently dawned upon me that although I do have some Chinese blood in me, I had never really gone to Chinatown before. I knew nothing about the history of the place, nothing about what they had there whether was it the things they were selling or the people that went there, nothing. I only knew how to get there. So I dedicated this trip to just walking around and experiencing the atmosphere there.


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Of course, there were some things I found really interesting:


This was some Chinese calligraphy drawing incorporated into English alphabets, which was really interesting as you can tell that the modern age is slowly taking over traditions.


At first when I saw this I didn’t really knew what it was until I saw the sign and I was like “OH okay so you could buy one and get the seller to carve your initials for you and it acts like a seal.”

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Apparently my friend told me that the hanging fake fruits and vegetables were Chinese New Year decorations….okay. Also one question that kept haunting me when I was at Chinatown was: What do tourists even buy here??? Most of the things sold here were all in Chinese and are the non-Chinese tourists even able to read them?

And I found my answer:


I guess they were more attracted to things that they couldn’t find in their own country, whether or not they understood it, the ability to appreciate culture and beauty is something that is naturally instilled in us.

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(Also this is NOT candy even though it’s called “Bing Tang Hu Lu”. The ‘tang’ (candy) got me there. Sorry but I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I prefer it sliced like the one I had when I was a kid.)

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Yay to childhood snacks!!

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The bottom slippers looked like something I used to wear when I was a kid.


Overall the trip there was good, I was able to pick out some items that I could relate to, but at the same time some of the items gives me question marks. My family is never one to celebrate Chinese festivals, or own things that relates to the Chinese tradition so going down to Chinatown myself and seeing new things and food makes me curious of the history of my roots.