A Home Away From Home – Part 2

Man on phone at Little India, Singapore

Man on phone at Little India, Singapore

Following on from my previous inaugural first post on Little India, I have to say again that this is one of the rare gems of street photography in Singapore – I have walked the streets of Orchard Road, China town, Shenton Way and other roads but never has there been a friendlier, more photographically rich streets such as those found along Little India, this hub of activity with road names such as Veersasamy Road, Dunlop Street, Serangoon Road, among others.

Men and shadows, Little India, Singapore

Men and shadows, Little India, Singapore

An Indian man pulling a rack of shoes along Dunlop Street, Little India, Singapore

An Indian man pulling a rack of shoes along Dunlop Street, Little India, Singapore

Here the people are friendly (a smile goes a long way to warm them up) and genuinely don’t seem to mind being seen and photographed. You would be forgiven that you are in India itself, but a cursory glance around at the many Singapore flags hanging off the buildings (it was near National Day in Singapore) confirms that one is in a special place in this island country – a place where the Indians and Bangladeshi call a home away from home.

A Singapore Flag flying off Serangoon Road, the main road running through Little India

A Singapore Flag flying off Serangoon Road, the main road running through Little India

A man waits expectantly for a friend along Little India, Singapore

A man waits expectantly for a friend along Little India, Singapore

Other than the streets of Paris, I have not felt such an adrenaline rush and great swathes of inspiration while out on the streets.

Despite the heavy Tamil influences and origins of this place, it is, like the rest of Singapore, a multi-cultural and religious tolerant place. In fact, I discovered a couple of small churches holding services on Sunday afternoons in little shophouses. The most prominent Christian building in the area though is the Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, with an imposing structure right in the heart of a cluster of shophouses, along a major cross junction.

Kampong Kapor Methodist Church in Little India, Singapore

Kampong Kapor Methodist Church in Little India, Singapore

Ice Cream seller near Kampong Kapor Methodist Church

Ice Cream seller near Kampong Kapor Methodist Church

Workers waiting outside Kampong Kapor Methodist Church for their ride

Workers waiting outside Kampong Kapor Methodist Church for their ride

There seems to be no regulation against pasting posters and ads on the walls of the buildings – it is as if this area is completely unregulated, or rather, under a different authority than the rest of Singapore.

Posters adorning a wall along Litte India, Singapore

Posters adorning a wall along Litte India, Singapore

Absolutely no idea what the sign says, but the mobile number is certainly clear enough....

Absolutely no idea what the sign says, but the mobile number is certainly clear enough....

The presence of the occasional police patrol car however dispels that myth. But certainly this area has a life of its own without the restrictive boundaries other areas of Singapore faces.

Sunlight glinting off the body of a pickup truck along a small alley of Little India, Singapore

Sunlight glinting off the body of a pickup truck along a small alley of Little India, Singapore

Here out in the back alleys and backstreets of Little India, people mill around the roads without regard for traffic – you just have to watch out for traffic on your own in an area with no traffic lights!

Man on phone walking in the middle of Dunlop Street

Man on phone walking in the middle of Dunlop Street

Street Crossing, Little India, Singapore

Street Crossing, Little India, Singapore

The invigorating street life of Little India will certainly drawn me back again and again – I did not see any homeless people or beggars out on the streets here – what I did see, however, is an integration of a people miles away from their native homes, mingling, socialisng and reconnecting in a place that resembles that of their own home, a place of solace and comfort from the stress of everyday work in a foreign land. It is truly a home way from home for many of these foreign workers, an amalgamation of different cultures united by a common need to connect.

Resting under a row of Singapore Flags, Little India, Singapore

Resting under a row of Singapore Flags, Little India, Singapore

Man and Poster, Little India, Singapore

Man and Poster, Little India, Singapore

Watch out for part 3 of this installment! (Edit: Part 3 is now online!)

14 comments for “A Home Away From Home – Part 2

  1. fraser ben
    August 20, 2011 at 16:43

    wow mr david, nicely writen and photographed =)

  2. August 20, 2011 at 18:03

    Thanks!! Be sure to check out part 1 as well! And also the rest of the articles on the site 🙂

  3. Catherine Lim
    October 12, 2011 at 09:37

    you’re doing lovely pieces. I recall meeting you on a walk from Bukiit Timah to breakfast at Ghim Moh on Sunday on the rail corridor . What’s next? You interested in temples?

    • October 18, 2011 at 00:28

      Hi Catherine,

      yes I remember you! great to see you here….. i’ll be interested in photographing a temple if i am allowed to do so, yes. I did one years back near Bugis!

      • Catherine Lim
        November 9, 2011 at 06:41

        You know Belinda Tan…she has managed to org a guided tour of a few temples with an expert this month. I will leave a message for her to tag u ..I think 19th Nov. Also if you are interested the Bukit Brown Cemetery is awesome.

  4. August 23, 2013 at 00:04

    Merely wanna comment that you have a very decent web site , I like the design it really stands out.

  5. Roy Lim
    December 11, 2013 at 15:07

    Nice photos. Did a tour of Little India a couple of years ago with our church friends and children. There we saw a ‘No Urinating sign’ (only 1 that I found in Singapore).
    🙂

    • December 11, 2013 at 16:10

      Hi Roy

      Wow! I must go look for this sign! Haha!
      Thanks for dropping by!

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