Thursday, April 21, 2011

Before there was Geylang Serai (1890-1910)

Kampong Siglap circa 1890s 

Kampong Bugis, 1900


The Sultan of Johore, 1908

Telok Belanga, 1912
Photos courtesy of On a little street in Singapore

These were some of the coastal communities pushed inland to make way for development along the Singapore, Rochor and Kallang rivers in the early twentieth century.  Note the poverty and squalor and why modernisation and westernisation were very attractive alternatives to the traditional 'kampong way of life'.  
I have to verify whether my maternal grandfather was actually half Bugis and whether his father once emerged from one of these stilt hovels and walked along the narrow wooden walkways in his all-black outfit of tunic, pants, and headgear, with a weapon tucked under his waistband or sash.
Now, I've got to find pictures on the Javanese at the Orange Grove district in the 1920s.   

7 comments:

Ummie said...

It is said that My Great-GrandMother was called Wak Murah.
She stayed, if I'm not mistaken, along Kallang River (I hope I get it right).
Being called so, because she will collect whatever innards of satay-sellers discarded, and turned them into edible food.
Her rezeki was sooo 'murah', overflowing to others, hence the name.
Praying to follow in her footsteps, insyaALLAH.

Andy Young* said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is informative and well written.

Keep it going.

Cheers.

BaitiBadarudin said...

Ummi: There's renewed interest now to trace family trees. Was your great grandma a Bugis? Those days, food was scarce that they don't waste any part of the chicken, cow or goat. I remembered eating lots of offal - hati, paru, pedal, perut - plus lidah, otak, and kaki ayam!
Wak Murah cermat, sebab tu rezeki dia melimpah ruah. Insya'Allah you'll be just as blessed.
Andy Young: Thanks for returning the visit, the compliment and the encouragement. Cheers.

Ummie said...

All My Grannies r said 2 b from Central Java - Demak & Pati. I had been 2 those places.
My Maternal GrandMa moved 2 Klang b4 downward to S'pore.

BaitiBadarudin said...

I'm checking on Kendal at the moment. I hope to visit soon, insyaAllah. Demak and Pati must be part of the Kingdom of Demak. Do you still have relatives in Klang?

Ummie said...

My Late Father was from Kendal.
Had been there too.
The last was in 2006.

Klang, yes.
I have a datuk sedara & several anaknya still staying there, I supposed.
I was there a couple of years ago.

*Several ex-Kaki Bukit residents & some still staying there (part of Bedok Reservoir if I'm not mistaken), will be at My place end of this month.

BaitiBadarudin said...

We should trace our family tree and see if there's a link somewhere. I should make that trip to Kendal this year.
As for Klang, my paternal grandpa was from Telok Menegun, and I still have cousins in Rantau Panjang and Taman Sri Andalas.
Wah, I wish I could meet those people from Kaki Bukit and chart a map of the kampong as it was in the late fifties and early sixties. Send my salam to them though.