I always wonder how Singapore attracts talented people and various kinds of foreign companies of IT, Finance and Medicine. I met Singaporeans who were so clever and energetic, able to speak two or three languages, eager to achieve projects but still so humble. However, I hesitated to travel to Singapore because in my mind it was just a transit airport to get to other Asian countries or on to Europe.Finally, I had a chance to visit my friend who just started to live in Singapore. Additionally, another friend of mine who travels to Singapore once a year advised me to go. He once had the same image of Singapore as me, but after spending time in the Little India area, he suddenly noticed how much he loved Singapore. I really wanted to know the reason why, so I visited Little India first. Below you can see some places to visit and there might be things to alter your perspective on Singapore.
Indian Heritage Center
To begin our visit to the Little India area, we went to the Indian Heritage Center to learn about the 2000 year history and get an overview of the Indian Community in Singapore. We were accompanied by Kindergarten kids who were taught in various languages about Indian History in Singapore. It was a great chance to learn the complicated Singapore history in their mother tongue. At Little India Arcade, we saw the vivid colored goods and high quality cotton clothes. People were so eager to sell their products, and it was fun to communicate and negotiate with them.
My father hates to go shopping, but he hit it off with an Indian cotton shop owner and built a great rapport with him in English and Japanese. He bought beautiful cotton shirts from him. It was amazing to see two guys communicating in different languages.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
We walked through the Little India Arcade and visited Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Little India Heritage Trail map was available at the Indian Heritage Center or online. If you don’t have a map, you can find signboards all over the Little India area. The signboards explained the background of the historical buildings and the area with nice old photos. The trail is not only for tourists but also for children who have various mother tongues and differing cultural and historical backgrounds. They can enjoy learning their history with joy.Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple was built as a shrine by Tamil people. You can see still vivid and vital religious culture here.
After visiting Little India, we went to Arab Street. Arab Street is across Rochor River from the Little India Area, so you can take a bus or walk. Public bus transportation is so convenient in Singapore. An Ez-link bus prepaid ticket is available at MRT stations. Buses come every 10 to 15 minutes. I visited the Malay Heritage Center to obtain the overview of the Malay history in Singapore. It took less than one hour to see the center and I liked its relaxing, huge space.