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Nov 18, 2010

Same Place, Different Time, Different Journey (Part 7)

Shopping for Chinese New Year at Chinatown...Then

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Shopping for Chinese New Year at Chinatown...Now

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Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Looking at Photo No. CNYST01 and CNYST02, the Chinese New Year shopping at Chinatown have changed the lifestyle over 5 decades.

The shutter-bugs may be interested to capture the "Chinatown Now" to share your personal experiences of the same place and different time and different journey along the streets of Chinatown once again.

November 24, 2010 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Unk Dicko said...

This is really a very cool way to showcase the past juxtaposed with the present. Great job James!
Do you know the year the past pics were taken? I think many would wonder about that.
In photo CNYST08...unless I'm mistaken totally, a lady shown there could be my elder sister. Chinatown was very close to our hearts as most of my late father's relatives,friends and work mates live there. As a kid, I've accompanied my dad on many visits there, including SAGO street..climbing those ricketty staircase, into the confines of windowless cubicles that are so cramped,so dark and dank that left my young mind with a lifelong respect for all the unfortunate people living within. There were no chairs for us to even sit on during our visits!
Our people today, living in modern comfort and many in opulence,should never lose sight of all these things from the past.

December 8, 2010 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you, Unk Dicko. This experimental project for "Interactive Blog Workshop" is really fun and interactive.

This blog activity is not a one-way "Same Place. Different Times. Different Journey" project. Everyone young and old with some ways of our attachment to a place now or once upon a time our homeland will remember them. Never mind if they are located elsewhere at this moment. These are memories to cherish.

The photos posted are "then" and "now". However, nobody can travel the journey on behalf of the path of one's own memories and one's enriched's own journey!

The pics of past years were compiled with the courtesy of contributors donated to National Archives of Singapore and shared on PICAS for our benefits. Not for commercial purposes though.

View an enlarged image of this photo CNYST08 here . It could be a dated photo someone captured by your elder sister and contributed it long ago to PICAS. Tourists have also taken lots of these pics in the public places where they visit in Singapore.

It would be great to mention this section of your "journey" to the "Interactive Blog Workshop Group" on Facebook where more members are added for us to share the "virtual workshop" the knowledge and history for us to learn the development of Singapore over 50 years. Its an educational way to learn with fun. Cheers!

December 8, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger sim hui hwang said...

Mr Seah, I really like the black and white pictures. Without colour, I thought I could detect a very genuine rowdiness, a certain purpose and the merriment of the time.

Then, Chinese New Year must be the biggest event for every Chinese and I think the shoppers were filled with an earnest desire to buy the best piece of meat, the best flowers be in plastic or fresh, to decorate the house.

When I was young, we were very poor and my papa never brought us to Chinatown at all.

I remember my papa buying anthuriums, chrysanthemums and carnations once a year and he bought the first flower vase for the family.

I was living in Toa Payoh then, and carefully, papa would trim the stems of the flowers he bought from a florist in the market and make sure the arrangement was gentle and flowing.

When papa passed away 7 years ago, I decided to hunt down the flower vase but sadly I couldn't find it. I was determined to get the same vase as a memory of my papa and his artistic skills. I found it on ebay all the way from the States.

When we were young, he made flowers from crepe paper and sold them to the British servicemen before I was born. That was what he told us. Neighbours used to call my papa Chor Huay Chek, (in Teochew) the uncle who makes paper flowers.

I wish I have a picture of it to show you now. I will show you with pride, the first piece of Tupperware that my papa bought for the family. It is called a floralier. I don't think I can post the picture here. I will post it on Facebook. That is my fondest memory of Chinese New Year celebration. No Chinatown for us. It was too far for us.

Thanks for the memory, Mr Seah.

December 19, 2010 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger lim said...

When I was young, Chinatown was also a place far away from my home. The only lasting memory I had of the place was when my aunty brought me to the Oriental Theatre to watch Hua Mu Lan. But Lunar New Year was always looked upon with great anticipation because I would have new shoes, new clothes, and best of all, firecrackers. What's New Year without firecrackers.

January 30, 2011 at 6:19 PM  

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