A Cultural Microcosm

Naturally, I presumed that the Hong Kong/Singapore J-Term trip would only take me to two countries. However, as I stepped off of the Singapore MTR metro and onto one of the streets within “Little India” it felt as if I had been transported straight to Mumbai. Immediately and almost instantaneously all of my senses were engaged at once. All around me were smells of spices, sights of people, and sounds of car horns. The streets were lined with stores that sold everything from sparkly gold bangle bracelets to vibrant fabrics used for making saris.

I have never set foot in India, but Singapore’s “Little India” was the closest imitation I can imagine to the real thing. Joy and I soon realized after wandering around some of the eclectic shops that our stomachs were growling and decided to find some food. We quickly stumbled upon a restaurant and quickly sat down to rest and refuel. As soon as I sat down I realized that we were the only foreigners in the restaurant and ordered a random dish from the menu. I also made sure to ask for mild spiciness since I am notorious for breaking into a sweat at the first sign of a pepper. I learned that mild to me is not the same as mild in an authentic Indian restaurant, but had a delicious meal nonetheless.

I am so glad that Joy and I decided to visit “Little India” because it opened my eyes to the microcosms that exist within Singapore. Had I not stumbled upon the area I would have missed out on a major part of the cultural fusion of Singapore. However, the trip also made me wonder how many more cultural microcosms exist in Singapore that I did not have the opportunity to explore.

~Kathleen

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