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A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Nov 30, 2013

When Time Stood Still in Orchard Road 50 Years Ago

This old photo of Orchard Road in Singapore for over 60 years ago curated from the National Archives of Singapore, with courtesy and acknowledgement, is unrecognizable today.

Is this the real or "reel" place in Singapore which ever existed?  Surreal ... time stood still only possible with the archived photos.

If visitors to Singapore had not seen the same place the last time so many decades ago, the memories of a place would be "frozen" in their mind.

Is this the real or "reel" me in a passport photo taken in 1971?  My classmate in secondary school over five decades ago have not met me again in person.  His last memory of my appearance or how I look was only remembered from my recent Facebook profile photo and immediately recognised me.  Time stood still for us on our encounter on Facebook, but not in real life.  Few Facebook friends knew me from my earlier profile photo when I was 10-years-old.  Surreal.  Its fun to play the fool with the avatar photos on Facebook ; )

At least I had an old classmate who recognize me and time stood still for me like Rip Van Winkle.

For the benefit of visitors to Singapore the last time about fifty years ago and remembered Orchard Road as time stood still on these "bloglet" archived photos. Have fun!

Hotel Singapura Intercontinental  c  1960s
The century-old Presbyterian Church Singapore  c  1950s
Photo taken outside Orchard Road Market  c  1950s
Orchard Road in the 1950s. On the right is the vertical signboard of Pavilion Theatre.
On the right is the Orchard Road Market beside Cold Storage (CSC)  c  1950s.
Glutton's Square opposite Cold Storage  c  1950s
The hawker stalls at Glutton's Square runs at night.  Photo below taken in the late afternoon.

Singapore as a global city, a metropolis to attract tourists by the hundreds and thousands from all over the world.  Time does not stand still for the world, for Singapore. Fond nostalgic memories stored in our personal "memory banks" for everyone.  Memories are not time-specific as captured in these old photos of Orchard Road to share with our heritage friends.  Same place.  Different times.  Different memories.

My blogger friend, Jerome Lim, brings us to Orchard Road, Singapore "the magical sea of light at Christmas" here .

Photo Credit:  Jerome Lim with thanks
Jerome Lim is the creator of "The Long and Winding Road" blog about "people, places, events, words and images that have left an impression on me along the long and winding road …"

"Life is certainly a journey that all of us take. We are richer from the experiences that we have had, the people that we have met, and the places that we have visited. This blog navigates through the long and winding road taken in the journey that is my life, pausing at experiences, events, places and people that have shaped my view of life and of the world;  that have made me who I am; and that I have lasting impressions and memories of …"

He is also the prolific creator of the "On a little street in Singapore" group on Facebook, a place which heritage fans, young and old, revive the nostalgic memories of  Singapore.  "A place for all to share memories and experiences of that Singapore before the invasion of the skyscrapers, shopping malls and more recently the super modern resorts of Marina Bay and Sentosa ..."

This is an unsolicited introduction to Jerome Lim through our regular blogs and his Facebook group.

Jerome and I share the passions and memories of Singapore as Memory Corps volunteers of the Singapore Memory Project  since 2011.  

Our similarities ends here.  Same, same ... but different!

We are from a different era, different time-frame growing up in Singapore.  Jerome is nearer to my childrens' generations when they were born.  How then our perspective, our views on our historical memories be the same?  In the same token as my parents and myself have undergone the social transformation of Singapore after the Japanese Occupation periods.

Nevertheless, we share the same bonding fraternities when time stood still in Singapore ... with "memory aids" and "virtual time-machines" as we blog on to share with our heritage friends and fans.  Keep it up!


Nov 29, 2013

Traditional Christmas Turkey in Singapore

Aren't you hungry? (A Burger King commercial in 1999).

Looking at this colorful picture of a roasted traditional Christmas turkey makes me salivate ...

Here again, Chief Cook Foo Yong Seng inspecting some of the 16 turkeys for the Christmas dinner in 1954 and lots of cooking for his culinary skills and art to get them ready for Christmas.

Why do we eat turkey on Christmas Day?

According to my British friends:  "In 1526 William Strickland imported turkey into England. Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" had much to do with making turkey a traditional Christmas meal. They soon became so popular because of their new unique taste and their succulent flavour that more were imported and bred.
As the years passed it soon became so popular that it became the traditional English Christmas Meal dish, served with stuffing, cranberry sauce and bread sauce along with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, peas and parsnips".

Orchard Road Market  c  1973

In the 1950s in Singapore, the favorite Christmas marketing was done at the Orchard Road market.  These archived photos are curated with the courtesy of the National Archives of  Singapore.

However, a wet market at Orchard Road appears to be out of place today and the ready-cooked turkeys and other groceries for Christmas are available at the supermarkets along Orchard Road with comfort and convenience.

Christmas is just around the corner. This is the time of the year when turkey cooking- and buying-panic sets in for those who are obsessed about having the best-tasting turkey at their Christmas dinner. Even if you enjoy cooking, it’s hard to make sure you have the perfect turkey ready on Christmas day (not to mention the lack of oven space to fit in a big bird).

One of the greatest benefits of living in a foodie city like Singapore is that our dinner party needs can often always be fulfilled by someone, someplace or somewhere.  With the myriad of choices available, finding the perfect bird to grace the dining table is not hard — if you know just where to get your fix. To help you along, we’ve put together a list of places to get the best turkeys this Christmas.

HungryGoWhere website recommends here .  Enjoy your Christmas turkey without hassle.  Merry Christmas!


Nov 28, 2013

Silent Night, Holy Night ... Baah, Ba, Baa, Bah

What were those sheeps doing at the steps of the City Hall in Singapore on 24 December, 1951 (Christmas Eve)?

These archived photos curated on this "bloglet" about Christmas celebration in Singapore over 50 years ago, to share our collective memories of Singapore.  With thanks and acknowledgement to the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) posted here.

According to the NAS description:

The neighbourhood of the Singapore City Council Building (now the City Hall) suddenly became like old Bethlehem soon after midnight on Christmas Eve as a flock of about 400 sheep blended their "voices" with those of a thousand carollers during the Singapore Christian Youth Council's carol rally.

In the 1950s, the venue for Christmas celebration was held at the City Hall steps, not at Orchard Road.

Many decades later, Christmas carolling was extended from homes, churches and then to the streets in public for everyone (Christians and non-Christians) of every ethnic groups of Singaporeans in praise of peace and joy for all mankind.

The Christmas Choir at Specialist Centre at Orchard Road in 1975

Lets listen peacefully and with joy to "Silent Night" by the Winchester Cathedral Choir on YouTube (without the sheeps for carolling  ; )

Christmas on Orchard Road, Singapore

Since when I celebrated Christmas in Singapore in the early days in the kampong in the 1960s?

During my childhood memories, many Singaporeans at that time thought that Christmas is for Christians at Orchard Road, Hari Raya Puasa is for Muslim at Geylang Serai, Deepavali for Hindu at "Little India, Chinese New Year for Chinese Singaporeans in Chinatown ... the traditional venue for lighting up for everyone to celebrate in Singapore.  These events are now celebrated as community events at the heartlands all over Singapore by everyone, including visitors and tourists from all over the world.

It was more of a cultural event than as a religious event for everyone to enjoy.  Joy to the world and peace to all mankind.


The Christmas decorations at the former Cockpit Hotel
The Christmas decorations at the former Specialists Shopping Centre
Christmas decorations inside the Orchard Road hotel

Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's Christmas Message on December 24, 1965.

Christmas is a festive season for all of us in Singapore.

Not so long ago, singing Christmas carols in Singapore was quite a hazard.

This Christmas it is different.  We are all on our own, free to do what we will.

We must resolve that we shall always be tolerant of each other.  A time of good cheer for all is a time to
remember that peace and goodwill in a multi-racial society do not always result from doing what comes naturally. 

It is necessary to concede and protect the other man's right to his own festivities and his own prayers if we are all to live happily together.

My greetings for a Merry Christmas to one and all, for in Singapore Christians are not the only people to celebrate Christmas.
 NB:  Archived photos with watermark "For online reference viewing only" with courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore to share on this personal blog; thanks and acknowledgement to NAS and the individual contributors.

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