There has been a Chinese community of one sort or another in Singapore as far back as 1330. Known as Niu Che Shui (meaning "ox water-cart" because the principle means of transporting water to this section of town was by animal-driven carts), Chinatown has played host to the largest ethnic group in the city. The British founder of modern day (1819) Singapore, Sir Stamford Ruffles, outlined a plan to develop various sections of the city for the specific use of the different ethnic groups. Yet, in spite of his segregation efforts, the early immigrants in Chinatown showed that they had no problem with multi-cultural groups living together. Thus, you can find the oldest Hindu temple in the city - Sri Mariammon Tamil (India) temple - and a Buddhist temple - the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple - within the heart of Chinatown. At one time, this section of Singapore was the center of slave trafficking and opium dens, but no longer. While Mandarin is one of the four official languages of Singapore, Cantonese is now the dominant dialect within Chinatown. We were fortunate to be here during the fifteen day celebration of Chinese New Year ( this being the year of the Rooster). It made touring Chinatown that much more entertaining and fun.
New Bridge Street entrance into Singapore's Chinatown.
2017 is the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese New Year calendar.
The Kong Chow Cultural Center is one of the clan social associations within Chinatown.
During the Chinese New Year celebrations, vendors crowd the sidewalks and streets.
While individual "department stores" are quite small...
....they are usually part of much larger "mall" areas.
Playing checkers appeared to be a community event.
The four-story Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is right in the heart of Chinatown, next to the Visitors' Center.
It is open to the public, free of charge, even during daily prayer services.
Even here, street musicians are prevalent.
Attaching our personal well wishes to the Wishing Tree.
Happy Year of the Rooster to everyone!
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.