Yawning Bread Photo Essay - October 2006

Festive light-ups - Deepavali





Through October, the Singapore Tourism Board lit up Little India for the Hindu festival of Diwali (more commonly known as Deepavali in Singapore).

In the last 20 years, Little India has become one of the busiest and most authentic of ethnic quarters in Singapore. Its growth and vibrancy has been fuelled by the influx of migrant workers from India and Bangladesh and rapidly increasing tourism from India. However, it still continues to serve the domestic Indian community with its many Indian restaurants, and shops selling spices, movies and music.

While the Tourism Board has taken the lead in dressing up the district, and a special bazaar for festive goods set up for the season, the main impression that I had on both evenings there was that the daily business of workers buying groceries, tourists buying gold and electronic goods, and locals selling to them, continued to dominate the quarter. Unlike the Mid-autumn festival light-up in Chinatown, in Little India people paid little attention to the illuminated arches.

This year, Deepavali is one of the 3 festivals that fall in October and so this photo essay is part of a set of three. The others pertain to the Chinese Mid-autumn festival and the Malay/Muslim Ramadan/Eid.


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