Thursday, 17 March 2011

History of Singapore

This is probably the best write-up on the history of Singapore so far:

I still find that people don't write well about a place or country, and I get terribly upset when I read what people write about places. However, there are good write-ups in some blogs by both tourists and locals. There is one blog by an Australian from Darwin who visited Singapore with his wife and his write-up tells of a down-to-earth travelogue, with travel tips on bus travels. There is Feliza Ong who wrote about her trip with her wonderful friends to the Central Civil Defence (fire brigade) in Singapore.

Before tourists decide to visit a country, they usually buy up books and read up about possible places they wish to visit, and they also check-out related blogs. So blogs are important. I do the same - check everything to the minute details. What frustrates me is people don't write fully about things they know or experienced when they visit a place, eg a park or museum, or when they go on a river cruise.

Even though today is unlike the times before Merdeka, and almost every piece of information is online, there's nothing like writing well about a topic to give insight to other readers. We have been too dependent on professional journalists, authors, and the like to write of interesting places for us. These are brief and times have changed. The bloggers are their own journalists and authors today. I feel it is high time that the global public respects bloggers for bringing events and interesting sites to the fore but bloggers must try to do proper reporting, just like other professionals have done for other mass media.

I would call upon everyone to write and write as best as they can about places they have visited and what their experiences were. There's no point putting up a photo or an image of Merlion in Merlion Park, Singapore without describing what "merlions" are all about and what they mean to the Singapore community. The "merlion" maybe a symbol but it seems detached when nothing much is written about its origin and myth.

I would rather like to hear something like this about Merlion even I have not visited Singapore since from 1968/9....

"Singapore, a legendary name fused from two Sanskrit words, singa (lion) and pura (city) has a long history dating back to the times of the Indian empires of .... Previously known as "Tumasek" (literally 'water land' or 'water-logged land'), this name could have referred to the mangrove trees that once grew along its coast, thus making its coastal areas swampy. Since early travel routes from the nearby islands to Singapore was by sea, the swampy coastal areas were met first upon arrival in Singapore, and thus could have given Singapore its "Tumasek" name. The name, Singapura, is more recent historically but significant for in early maps by well-known cartographers, Singapore was presented by a small red dot.  Declared a republic following its cessation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, Singapore developed very fast and surpassed all its neighbours to become a focus of modern trade, attracting some of the biggest investments by multinationals. Though modern and fast developing, Singapore is abreast in preserving its history and culture. Merlion is a symbol of Singapore's modernity and rich cultural blend. Merlion is a hybrid structure comprising a lion's face fused with a mermaid's body (mermaid + lion = merlion). This structure was chosen for tigers once roamed the island and the mermaid is symbolic for the beauty of its clean waters which befits mermaids...." 

When written as above, I would want to visit Singapore right this instant! Same thing with "Little India" and all the other places. When you write, please do include the beauty of a place and its people, the ambiance etc. Most people write about the architectural grandeur and that can be very dry when other pages write the same thing.