This is not an ordinary street buzzing with pushcarts selling souvenirs in the core of Chinatown. It has a certain background we should recall or try not to recall…the Sago Street.
Sago Street alias “sei yang gai” in Cantonese refers to “street of the dead”. Back to the last century, funeral parlours stretching from one end to another are not an uncommon sight.
In the funeral living room, you see bodies covered merely with cloth lying on pallets in open cubicle, each with a table placed with offering items. As the shops are usually small and dimly lighted, the atmosphere then was chilly and creepy. It is definitely not for the feeble hearted.
When I was young, I remember having to pass by a few lying bodies just to reach the toilet situated right behind the backyard of the shop. To me, attending funeral wake is always a hair-raising event. It’s a frightening experience and one that left a deep impression behind.
The picture was captured in the Chinatown Heritage Centre at Pagoda Street (a few lanes away from Sago Street) depicting the bitterness of life during that century.
Those offerings are the basic needs for the deceased, it’s offered to serve them with a better life at the other side of the world.
Today, if your soul traveled back home from the other side of the world, you maybe surprised by the overwhelming tourist crowd, waking you up next to the side of your soul bed. Or maybe you would consider starting a new life again, this time with a more graceful surrounding.