After the arrival in Singapore on Saturday, the first day of exploring the city together with students of Lasalle was coined by Arts & Culture.Sunday’s excursion led to various important sights around town. Being based in Little India, the first tour stop was the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, a Hindu temple right in the middle of it. The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, fierce embodiment of Shakti and the god Shiva’s wife, Parvati. Kali has always been popular in Bengal, the birthplace of the labourers who built this temple in 1881. Images of Kali within the temple show her wearing a garland of skulls and ripping out the insides of her victims, and Kali sharing more peaceful family moments with her sons Ganesha and Murugan.
Close to the temple, the group ventured into Mustafa Centre a Shopping Centre where you can find anything you’d possibily need. Electronics, garments, foreign exchange, food, before having lunch at Komala Vilas, one of Singapores oldest vegetarian Indian restaurants.
After lunch, the group was led to Sultan Mosque, which is considered to be one of the most important mosques in Singapore. Based in historic Kampong Glam it is the focal point for Singapore’s Muslim community. Since one of the most important part of Singapore’s culture is the fact, that people of many different cultures live peacefully together, the next stop was the Malay Heritage Centre that showcasese the culture, heritage and history of Malay Singaporeans.
On to the next one after that: Haji Lane is also in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood of Singapore. Young people frequent the shophouses along this lane for the independent fashion boutiques and Middle Eastern cafes. Haji Lane got its name because of the businesses here. There were many Arab pilgrim-brokers who would arrange the haj for Muslims in Singapore and from the nearby islands such as Java.
After visiting Haji Lane, the group was able to visit Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore that is based in downtown Chinatown. Close to that is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, which is claimed to have, the name gives it away, the relic of Buddha. The tooth was found in 1980 in a collapsed stupa in Myanmar. The relic can be viewed by the public at the 4th floor of the temple.
The last stop of the tour was food related again, for dinner the group visited the Maxwell Hawker Centre. Singapore is famous for its hawker centres, where cheap food stalls set up shop and sell a broad range of Asian cusine. Trial and error is the motto for these.