Quick! Let’s form an overnight queue to visit the last kampong! Bring your camping tents!

So the inevitable has finally happened, the last Singapore kampong to be torn down.
So now adding to the already pervasive cultural vacuum, we now have historical (???) vacuum?
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No relation whatsoever, but it reminded me of 1 of the seminar Q&A during the Animation Nation 2008 festival, in which Shuhei Morita-san, director of “Freedom Project” was asked by a member of the audience comprising mostly young-uns, save for yours truly here XD, whether he has seen anything in Singapore to inspire him in his next production. I nearly gagged at that question, what can anyone possibly answer except state what tactful diplomacy requires???

True enough, he demurred politely, saying something to the effect that he has not been in Singapore long enough to see much things, perhaps a longer stay may give him more to chew on (if my terrible memory serves me correct). Bandai Visuals producer Hideo Matsushita-san salvaged the situation even more smoothly by saying it reminded him of Finland (or was it Norway, or some other Scandinavian country)

It now occurred to me that our younger generation does not realise that their homeland is basically a “cultural vacuum”, that they think that such conditions are the norm ….

Why do I say that? When we think of say, Korean festivals, all those images of pretty Korean girls in “balloon” dresses fill our mind, and for those who have been there, they will be reminded of the “kimchi-ness”. Likewise when we talk about Japanese culture, we latched onto numerous mental images of kimonos & samurais & shrines & whatnots. In Thailand, the association with those loooonnng fingernails is inescapable. India, Brazil, Spain, …. I believe most folks can conjure up the associated mental images. Even Malaysian tourism advertisements managed to convey a somewhat unique “cultural-ness” in their message.

What image do you have when Singapore is brought up? Curtain walls don’t count, ok ….

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