Friday, June 14, 2013

Window to the Past of Street Hawkers - PhotoHunt

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Love the windows of the stunning neo-classical National Museum building

PhotoHunt theme : Windows/Unknown

Took my young nephews on a journey into history at the National Museum. They were fascinated with the "Singapore Living Galleries - Food" exhibit on the vibrant street food culture of Singapore between the years 1950 to 1970.

Most of the street scenes we saw in this gallery are no longer found in Singapore. So it was a wonderful opportunity for my nephews to have a window to the past of hawkers. The children learnt about the challenges of migrants, working hard to make ends meet while adapting to a new environment.

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Kueh Tutu Trishaw! 

Kueh Tutu, a well-known Chinese street snack, was sold by hawkers riding trishaws with a cart attached to the front of the bicycle.

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satay stall

I miss this old school satay stall! I remember seeing the satay man only during temple celebrations when the whole village would gather to watch the Chinese opera performances at night.

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old school Nasi Lemak hawker stall

When I was a young child, I had bought Nasi Lemak, steamed rice cakes (chee cheong fun), turnip cakes (soon kueh) from the wandering food hawkers who travelled from neighbourhood to neighbourhood selling their home-made delicacies.

We would wait for these hawkers who would come in the late afternoon on certain days. Sometimes when we didn't have money, we would still hang around the stall, hopefully waiting for a neighbour to share his food. haha....

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Tok Tok Mee

I heard of the Tok Tok Mee from my Dad. A popular Chinese dish, it was the original name for our Wanton Noodle today. The creator of this noodle is unknown. The pushcart vendor would announce his arrival by knocking two bamboo sticks together, producing the tok tok sounds, that's how the noodle got its name. LOL

According to an elderly neighbour, people who lived on the second or third storeys of buildings didn't have to walk down the stairs for takeaways. They would lower a rattan basket with the money for a bowl of noodles and the vendor would cook and place it in the basket before it was hoisted up. Cool!

These exhibits would certainly bring back many happy memories for my Dad who has lived through the times of eating on the streets. My nephews' visit to the museum was an enriching one as they have learnt more about their own country and its culture.

Free admission to National Museum for Singapore citizens, and PRs who are students, teachers, senior citizens and NSFs as well as children of 6 years of age and under.






40 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes you can, boy boy. It's up to the staff to believe you. LOL

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  2. Wow! The museum is stunning! I bet you guys had a great time :) I liked the story of how the noodle dish got its name. Its a cute story :) Our museum does not have a food gallery, but I actually to am interested in the history of various foods. Great post!

    Happy weekend ECL!

    my Photo Hunt blog entry for this week

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    Replies
    1. An interesting gallery for the kids because it is about food :D
      The children were wondering if they could have their food delivered up to their 4th storey apartment in a basket. lol

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  3. Fascinating post and great take on the theme. You took some great shots.

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    Replies
    1. Happy to preserve these memories for my future generations. :)

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  4. sounds like a great learning experience for the kids.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they have great fun although they resisted going to the museum at first. We are going to visit another 2 museums next week :)

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  5. I enjoy hearing about hte history of Singapore this way. Also, with all the modernization going at warp speed in S'pore, it's really necessary to have more of these museums so the young generations could see and learn what it was like in the old days.

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    Replies
    1. After bringing some of my overseas visitors to visit our museums, they are amazed how much tough challenges Singapore overcome to progress this far. I hope our young would appreciate what their forefathers have gone through to give them a safe and comfy life.

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  6. What a nice museum. I love it!

    How much is the entrance fee for tourists ECL?

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    Replies
    1. There are several galleries to view. This is only one of them.

      Adults S$10
      Family package (group admission up to 5 people) S$30

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  7. next Sunday, during International day, Our group is selling Nasi lemak. The organiser told me to sell, not cook, guess I am lousy in cooking.

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    Replies
    1. That's a fabulous dish you are promoting. You must have great marketing skills that's why they want you to sell not cook. :)

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  8. I used to volunteer in Sing at a Dog and Cat shelter. Got me so angry when people abandon them.

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    Replies
    1. It's still happening - abandoning their pets. Thanks for contributing to the society, Ann.

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  9. Indeed a lot of windows ! Loved to read about the street snacks. How interesting !

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    Replies
    1. Too many windows to clean! :P You see the difference between street snacks of Singapore and Waterloo?

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  10. that's the art gallery, and the cafe place. It is quite up market, some how it does look like a canteen.

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  11. It's great to read you adding your memories and stories to what you saw at the museum. :)

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    Replies
    1. The olden day street vendors also remind me of my late grandmother who never failed to buy kueh tutu or mochi for me after watching the Teochew opera.

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  12. I love hearing about all of these things. That building is spectacular.

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    Replies
    1. Magnificent building on a busy street, lots of stories to be shared within this building. :)

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  13. A museum alwasy holds lots of unknown fun!
    Happy Hunting~

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    Replies
    1. Yes, my young nephews were not interested in museums at first. After this museum visit, they want to see more. Glad that they are willing to trade their internet time for history lessons :)

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  14. Hi ECL, loved this post and what a great museum to bring your nephews to. I think it's awesome to learn about our own history and how life was like back in the days. I love the original name of the wanton noodle and how it got its name. Very cool story.

    Thanks so much for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a great museum. My nephews love the original name Tok Tok Mee and are eager to find one in Singapore.

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  15. I bet food museum here would be interesting. Once I help my hubby family clean out his grandma home when she died.(A while ago)
    There was all sort of empty container of things I never heard of.

    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found lots of interesting unknown stuff when my grandmother passed away too. I wonder if my son would find my belongings weird when I pass away :P

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  16. Wonder how kueh tutu looks like. Yes seen and heard the tok tok mee before haha.

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  17. Interesting way of presenting Windows.
    I never been to the place. Maybe i should pay a visit on my next visit.

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    Replies
    1. Our National Museum contains an impressive array of artefacts and interactive exhibits that weave the story of Singapore’s colourful past. Try to include it in your itinerary.

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  18. I have never seen the satay stall like that but i still remember an Uncle on motorbike selling noodles

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    Replies
    1. In the old days, I lived in a kampung (village). Motorcycles were out of reach for the poor folks, so the satay man carried his stall and went round on foot to sell the satay.

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