This Is Home Truly – S’porean Millennials On Growing Up In Local Neighbourhoods
We all grew up in Singapore. Right? Most of us. Well, after considering the concentration of Singaporeans to foreigners in the country, SOME of us grew up in Singapore.
But anyway, my point is we all grew up in a neighbourhood and have lots of memories tied to a certain area in Singapore.
Since my colleagues hail from different parts of Singapore, I decided to do a little investigation to find out where they grew up.
“I grew up in Bedok North, Fengshan. It was the quieter side of Bedok because the people living there were mainly elderly. Time moved slowly in the area, which made it very homely and cosy. This was before the trend of food bloggers hyping food in neighbourhoods.[caption id="attachment_35283" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Sportify Cities[/caption]
You know how they have the ice cream uncles who would sell ice cream downstairs? Yeah, mine wasn’t an ice cream uncle. It was the kacang putih man.
I moved to Yew Tee in my early Primary years, but to be honest, Marine Parade was more exciting. Don’t put that in.”
“I grew up in Pasir Ris all my life. Though I shifted from Pasir Ris East to Pasir Ris West.
But I remember that the area was like a ghost town, because nothing was really developed yet. And the only mall we had at the time was White Sands Shopping Mall, that’s still around today.[caption id="attachment_35281" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Wikipedia[/caption]
There was also West Plaza and Elias Mall. Every outing with friends was always at Downtown East. This was before Downtown East expanded into e!Avenue today.
My Sports Days were a little more special because ours wasn’t conducted in-school, rather the school put up a huge tent and held Sports Day at Pasir Ris Park.
Also, I think every Pasir Ris kid will remember that we had our very own theme park in our neighbourhood. Yes, Escape Theme Park was ICONIC.[caption id="attachment_35280" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Image Credit: meme generator[/caption]
I liked that everyone living in Yishun had each other’s backs. The neighbourhood spirit was palpable. Can feel one. There was this sense of unspoken security in the neighbourhood. So actually no need to build wall because we already feel secure.
Even though Northpoint wasn’t much, it was great because it had Toys ‘R’ Us. For a kid, any place that had a Toys ‘R’ Us was a wonderland.[caption id="attachment_35285" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Image Credit: Choa Chu Kang
“I grew up in Choa Chu Kang. I lived in Teck Whye until I was 3 or 4, but to be honest, the areas are just next to each other.
I remember taking the feeder bus to the MRT, because LRTs weren’t created at the time. There was also Choa Chu Kang Park. I mean, it’s still around today, but back then it was really an empty park with sand playgrounds.
There was a bicycle shop at Choa Chu Kang MRT interchange. My first bike was bought there. Sadly, the shop is gone now.
Lot 1 Shopper’s Mall was the only mall we had in the area. It was quite….limited, in the past. Now they’re trying to expand the MRT so it’s cool.”
Finally, there’s me. I live in Jurong West, the armpit of Singapore. Left or right? It’s up to your perspective.
I used to hate living in Jurong West. As if Jurong wasn’t already “West” enough, I had to live in Jurong WEST. Everything was far. Can you imagine what my life was like when I had to book in every Sunday night during NS?
The only shopping we had was Jurong Point and it was boring. I mean, it was fine for a while when they decided to open a Toys ‘R’ Us there. But it eventually closed.
[caption id="attachment_35288" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Image Credit: SRX Property[/caption]
That’s not all, we were near Tuas, so factory smog and weird smells were common. Not to mention the presence of Tengah Air Base, which ensured that the 2 or 3 months leading up to National Day was filled with daily sonic booms of passing aircrafts.
I’m pretty sure my hearing is damaged thanks to the RSAF. Patriotism, I guess.
But to be honest, I grew to love Jurong West.
I love that the neighbourhood is quiet, even in the day. I love that we don’t have a huge amount of traffic passing through. I love that I don’t have to deal with crowd when I take the MRT, unlike Jurong East.
I guess there are benefits to living in the corner of Singapore after all.
Where did you grow up in Singapore?
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(Header Image Source: Melissa Chan)
Ever Wondered Why There Are So Many Chu Kangs In Singapore? We Uncover The Mystery!
Just the other day I came across this Facebook post from FiveStarsAndAMoon and it sparked a surge of curiosity within me.
Why do we have so many places named “___ Chu Kang” in Singapore?!
To many of us Singaporeans, Choa Chu Kang, Yio Chu Kang and Lim Chu Kang all sound like they were named after the same person, but with different surnames. However, “Chu Kang” wasn’t the name of a person at all…
Unless you’re talking about a certain “Ah Beng” Contractor who declares himself as the “best in Singapore, JB and some say Batam”.[caption id="attachment_3664" align="aligncenter" width="328"] Photo Credit: Alvinology.com[/caption]
Don’t Play Play ah! Okay, let’s get back on track.
The origins of these names find their roots in the Kangchu system adopted by 19th century chinese agricultural settlers in Singapore.
So what is the Kangchu system? the Kangchu system is kind of like an administrative system made up of a collection of villages and plantations that’s usually situated around the mouths of rivers.[caption id="attachment_3662" align="aligncenter" width="701"] Photo Credits: Rememberingsingapore.org[/caption]
Back then, the dominant clan in each village held the title of Kangchu 港主(which means lord of the river), and their respective areas were marked with their clan names, which eventually resulted in the modern-day names of three of Singapore’s well-known districts.
As you would’ve guessed, Yio Chu Kang was controlled by the Yio clan, Lim Chu Kang by the Lim clan and Choa Chu Kang by the Choa clan. These were the only three that found a permanent place in our progressive society. Chan Chu Kang which was situated around Yishun, later became Nee Soon Village while Tan Chu Kang and Lau Chu Kang became relics of the past.
So, here you go! Mystery solved!