Sunday, August 3, 2014

the quickly changing face of Singapore

My friends Ben and Fiona took me to a hawker center for dinner on Friday (basically, a place where a bunch of food vendors are located all under one roof) which was right next to an old housing estate that was built in the early 60s.... they mentioned that it's one of the last of its kind and that most of the tenants, many of them elderly, have already been moved out to other buildings...

They discreetly motioned to an old man sitting alone at a table beside us - "he probably comes here every night... when they move him to one of those new highrises, where will he go in the evenings?"

It seems that everywhere you turn, the old is being quickly covered up with the new.

I was also told that the area that I met so many older Pop Yeh Yeh artists during my last visit, Kampung Melayu (Malay Village), has also been demolished.  This was a neighborhood or enclave of mostly Malay owned shops and restaurants and it was a place where the Singaporean Malay culture was centralized in a way....   

Much of Singapore's skyline continues to change.. and every tall building is competing to have the most flashing lights on it -- making it impossible to see the stars in the night sky anymore.
I guess this is seen as "progress", but it makes me sad to see that the old/classic Singapore that might have existed in the 60s is almost completely gone. 

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