Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Oriental Wares"

KM forwarded me this video of Singapore in 1957. Produced by the Malayan Film Unit, it advertised to British travelers the charms of a visit to Singapore, "the world in miniature." KM asked me if this was the Singapore which I grew up in. I remember from the 70s Van Kleef Aquarium, the sights and sounds of the amusement park, the smells of roadside hawker stalls, but I don't see the crowded shophouse in Tanjong Pagar that hold my first memories of home, or the new housing estate of Telok Blangah Crescent, to which I moved at the age of five, and where my parents still live. Of all the exoticized figures in the film, I identity most immediately with the woman in the Malay dance hall, waiting for a white man and his dance ticket.

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