- Posted September 8, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
My favorite Chinatown
Not Just Dragons & Lanterns
Dragons, red-lanterns and Chinese restaurants are trademarks of any Chinatown all over the world.
Chinatown in Singapore is more than this. It is a living testament of Singapore 's migrant Chinese population who first set foot on the tiny island more than a century ago in search of a better future.
My Grandfather was one of them. At the tender age of 6, he hid in a Chinese junk as a stowaway in search of his elder brother who had settled in Singapore. They had seen, in horror, their mother buried alive during the persecution years and hope for their future was dim.
Brave Little-boy Grandfather landed on Singapore, pig-tails and all, and built himself a successful business after spending much of his childhood working by the roadside of Chinatown, helping his elder brother to mend shoes and doing odd jobs.
Chinatown is therefore especially meaningful for me. It is about the real life of the Chinese people in Singapore.
My photos reflect how people in Chinatown live today. The store that stocks accessories and joss-sticks for the dead and for ancestral worship. The medicine shop where herbs and aphrodisaic cures provide relief and comfort for the migrants. The warehouse that still stands today as it was many decades ago.
This is the real Chinatown for me...not the touristic red-lanterns and golden dragons that most of us think Chinatown is about.