3) Have a conversation with your family member, are there life stories, tradition or experiences about Singapore that you might find?
My Dad used to go “fishing” with his brothers and friends from his kampong district when he was a kid. Even when it’s dark, they would grab their pails and nets, slip out of the house quietly and meet up at some dirty canal or shore, when they know it’s at low-tide. He had many stories about his late night “fishing” adventures, but one of my favourites took place at the cemetery which Grandpa would later be put to rest in.
There was a huge drain or canal in this cemetery, and fishes, shrimps and algae actually thrived in this unusual sanctuary. It was here Dad and his little brother caught an “electric eel” with a gaudy red plastic bag and brought it home to his mom with pride. However, they were both scolded and even punished for their naughtiness, although Grandma cooked up the eel anyway. When I was about 8 or 9, Dad brought me back to this canal to demonstrate how he caught the eel once again, but he slipped into the canal and suffered a cut on his knee. His sturdy nokia phone was also put to rest, thanks to this incident.
Dad built our childhood in such fishing excursions, with other his grown-up brothers and their children. We visited Sembawang Park, Pasir Ris Park and numerous other secret spots in Singapore to hunt for mussels, crabs, fishes . . really, anything we could get our hands on. I recall sitting on a bunch of rocks, trying to cook “mussel soup” using the stone campfire “stove” Dad constructed for me. And wading through muddy ponds at deserted fish farms. Letting bucketfuls of tadpoles nibble at my palms and squishing them to find greenish insides.
Even now, I still missed this way of life. The kampong culture has been replaced with the buzzing city life, where trips to the movie theatres and amusement parks erased the humble and quiet satisfaction that fishing once brought.
I am intending to draw live and record it. I would probably fast forward the video so it has quality drawings with comfortable timing. I would then narrate over the fast-forwarded video. I would likely narrate a couple of stories Dad talked about, and also include some of my thoughts.