Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Zog of the blogs.... starting time

 Thanks to Victor, Zog of the Bloggs, and nurse to the technologically impaired here I am finally able to share my photos (and film) of Singapore in the 1970s and 80s.... into the digital age. I am hoping over time to introduce various themes, such as wayang and puppets, funerals, religious rituals , but for now we will focus on the river, attempting to showcase its pungency and energy.
  At the moment iI am playing with the options to learn how to drive this Twakow, (river vessel) with the expert guidance of Captain Victor!
  I will be adding photos and attaching comments of my own reminiscences and personal anecdotes.
 I launch the boat with a bottle of ritual wine "Gnoh KaPi"  and toast you all Huat Ah!
    The above test photo is from 1975, at Clarke Quay, The Leng Heng Tua temple celebrating the Hades Deity Twa Ya Peh. Devotees sit in the late evening gloom of a wet and stormy day enjoying a dinner, on the sides of the temporary tent can be seen papier mache clothes for the Deities which will be combusted later. Temple medium Ah Hui can be seen walking towards the photographer.
    It is fitting that this should be the first image as it was from here that the seeds of my interest in the folk culture sprouted and bloomed. I will be writing much about Leng Hiang Tua and Clarke Quay.
     Cha Chun Tau is the localised name of the Read Bridge area, called so in Hokkien dialect as the place "to haul wood". Clarke Quay itself however is traditionally a Techiu  district.
   There is so much to talk about, and a large stash of photos to choose from, I need to pace myself and slowly allow the stories and legends to unfold.

    Feel free to ask any questions and comment.


  1. Clarke Quay and the surrounding areas were a Teochew enclave and the words Cha Chun Tau does not mean "to haul wood". The Teochew meaning of Cha Chun Tau should roughly be "Wooden boats berthing area". Even though Hokkien sounds quite the same as Teochew, Cha Chun Tau should also mean the same to this dialect.

  2. Wood loading jetty is what I was told. I will post pix of such jetties still existing in the 70s.