Created on Monday, 11 July 2011 00:00
Written by Steve Phua
Kampong. To many people, this word refers to a backward village that is under-developed, with no proper electricity, no distinct pathways, let alone modernized entertainment like computers and televisions. The foul odor of chickens, ducks, and other wildlife will also be conjured when one is asked imagine kampong.
I grew up in a kampong for the first couple of years I was born and, to a certain extent, I second to the view of kampong of the majority. Nonetheless, from time to time, I would still prefer the life of kampong to the modernized world.
To relive those memories, I visited Kampong Lorong Buangkok, also known as the last standing kampong in Singapore’s mainland. The only other alternative would be Pulau Ubin, and it has sadly been commercialised.
The entrance to Kampong Lorong Buangkok may seem unappealing to most, some who would have turned their backs away upon the scene of this. But the less adventurous will miss much – the stories and experiences of the shy villagers inside.
Still, even though Kampong Buangkok is isolated behind the main road along Yio Chu Kang road, the postman never forgets to deliver the villagers' letters to them promptly.
It was to my surprise that there are still quite a number of people in the kampong who consciously chose to forgo the comforts that comes with the rapid development plan of the government in a bid to modernise every single part of our little island.
It’s uncommon to see such rundown buildings along the streets of Singapore nowadays. But who knows how much sweat and effort the "founder" of this house put in, in order to literally put a roof over his family's heads.
Like the founder of the house who wanted to leave a legacy to his family, it seems that one of the newer inhabitants wanted to leave his handprints behind – refusing to be forgotten with the rapid development of the country.
The handmade fossil reminded me that a simple life can be one that is memorable and fulfilling too, as compared to one that is immersed in the world of technology and entertainment.
Walking on, I enjoyed the scattered pretty sights at some of the gardens in the kampong.
You may have seen these common flowers in Botanical Gardens. But wouldn’t you love it if you could have these planted within your small plot of land, and grooming it till it blossoms.
There weren't any spectacular sights to behold during my day trip down but it was one walk that got me thinking… Perhaps slowing down and taking a step back into the past will help compose yourself from the stressing and troublesome workload of yours back in the bustling futuristic city.
The chirping of early birds, the fresh air emitted by the plants and flowers in the morning… What a good start to your day in calming your mind and soul, as well as to reflect on your past doings!