Bold red streets of Singapore portraying ancestral culture at its best - The Chinatown

Tripoto

It is Chinese New Year and I'm on a holiday in Singapore. The major ethnic population of the country is gearing up to celebrate their new year in a exuberant way. Hanging lanterns, beautiful Chinese couplets, placards displaying the good luck of the year in public places repeatedly reminded us to visit Chinatown. Also a casual conversation about the same with a graceful old Chinese taxi driver raised my eagerness to roam the Chinese streets. The next day guided by city maps we took MRT train service to Chinatown. Reaching the station we started walking down the street towards Chinatown. Red lanterns everywhere invited us inside the charm streets. Buildings, shops, hawker stalls, temple along with people carried us to China. Beautiful wall hangings, decorations, lanterns painted the entire region in bold red color tinged with sizzling gold.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple – Photo credit – www.singapore-tourist-info.com

Photo of South Bridge Road, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Singapore by Banupriya

The first place we headed was the Buddha tooth relic temple, a five storeyed temple and museum complex. The temple was built in the World famous Tang-style Chinese architecture. Buddha's tooth relic claimed to be from a collapsed stupa of Myanmar is housed in the temple. The temple was richly ornate and awe-inspiring. Various forms of Buddha in the golden museum were remarkable. The experience inside the temple gave a peaceful insight for mind and soul.

Then we started walking around the roads of the temple. I felt like walking in China. Authentic shops selling Chinese goods caught my attention. Browsed through extra-ordinary Chinese souvenirs like lanterns, wall hangings, coins, small replicas of temple bells, artifacts like bags, jewelry boxes, wood carvings, flower decorative etc. Each and every artifact in the place illustrated the style of Chinese in a unique way. It seemed to be the perfect place for shopping hangouts and I packed some great goodies for my friends. The Chinese were about to welcome their New year in that week and I could perfectly sense the rhythm of the festival in the streets. It was the year of Monkey and beautifully carved crafts representing it were on display. Stalls selling traditional Chinese food were busy serving people. One can buy the rare herbs and spices used in their kitchen from the stalls here.

Chinatown Street Market – Photo credit – www.singapore-tourist-info.com

Photo of Chinatown, Singapore by Banupriya

Overall, Chinatown in Singapore gave an insight about Chinese culture which is one of the World's oldest. It remained interesting and mesmerizing as I indulged myself into a society which I have never experienced before.

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