I am not just a little red dot / 我不是一般的小红点
In the early years when mangroves swamps and human skulls were covered long ago before the Thomas Raffles came.
During the Raffles colony, Colonel Farquhar asked the Sea Gypsies who were the early communities, “Whose are all these skulls and dead bodies?” they replies, “They belongs to the men who were robbed at sea and slaughtered here.”
According to Munshi Abdullah wrote; there was a plague of rats in the river community, the size of rats were as huge as cats.
Colonel Farquhar rewarded 1 ‘wang’ for every rat been caught. Hence, thousands of rats brought in every morning. After 6 or 7 days, multitude of creatures were still can be founded. He increased the paid out to 5 ‘duit’ for each catch. But still, thousands of rats have been brought in everyday.
Subsequently, Farquhar ordered to dig a deep trench to bury those dead bodies.
The number of rats brought in dwindled until 10 or 20 rats a day.
Not long after, centipedes struck. A number of centipedes attacked people who living on the riverbank. Again, Colonel Farquhar offered 1 ‘Wang’ for every brought in. Hundreds of catches been brought in everyday, until the number descended to 20 or 30 centipedes for 2 or 3 days. Finally, the cleaning up campaign came to the end.
Did you ever stopped by and wonder who is calling at the riverbank of Singapore River? The water? The leaf? Or the flow of reminiscences?
Read more in http://www.mas.gov.sg
5 cents coin – Esplanade
10 cents coin – HDB (Housing and Development Board)
20 cents coin – Singapore Changi Airport
50 cents coin – Port of Singapore
$1 coin – Merlion
5-cents coin – The Fruit Salad Plant (Monstera deliciosa), a dark green heavy foliage climber.
20-cents coin – The Powder-Puff Plant (Calliandra surinamensis), medium size shrub with hemispherical pink color headed flower.
$1 coin – The Periwinkle (Lochera rosa) small shrub with single stem, produces flowers in velvety purple.
Don’t you feel rich to have a garden city on a coin? Perhaps, that’s my other reason for loving our local currency.
A bartender, Ngiam Tong Boon who worked in Raffles Hotel in 1915, created the Singapore Sling. Since then, the recipe was so valuable to the extent that it has to be locked up in the safe of the hotel for many years.
The frothy gin and juice based cocktail were combined with ingredients including gin, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, Cointreau, Dom Benedictine and Grenadine. It’s shake up and end with a garnish of sliced pineapple topping with a cherry.
Singapore Sling has gained international fame over the years.
Actor, Johnny Depp acted in the movie ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, mentioned Singapore Sling while meeting the attorney.
The drink is pretty high in spirits content. So, if you drink, don’t drive. If you don’t drive, you can drive yourself to sing out Singapore Sling aloud!
According to legend based on the history of pre-Rafflesian time of Singapore, Orang Laut or Sea Gypsies was the communities who lived ‘in the numerous bays, inlets ad creeks surrounding Singapore.’
Half of them lived on water, in little canoes that could scarcely stretch themselves. The water lodgings were equipped with 1 or 2 cooking pots, earthy jars and mats made of pandanus leaves that allowed shading from sun and rain.
They spent most of their time on boat, where birth, marriage and death took place therein. As they were accustomed to life on the boat, they are easily recognized with their wadding gait on land.
The other half of these people lived in huts on the banks near Kallang River and at the wider portion of Singapore River.
During the times of British settlement, Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the First Resident and Commandant of Singapore was appalled by the Orang Laut wearing no clothes, so he distributed money, clothes and rice to them. Their children were terrified by the newcomers, merchants, laborers from all over the world.
One even jumped into the sea and got drowned when people approached near their boats.
And now, if you attempted to jump into the water, hoping to stay closer to the legendary tale, I think that is the only best reason I could agree upon.
What character does it carry?
In 1160, Sri Tri Buana, Sang Nila Utama, the ruler of an ancient kingdom saw the white shore of this little island, described by the annalist.
He asked, “what is that stretch of sand, we see yonder?”
“Your highness, that is the land called Temasek”. One of the companions replied.
When they reached the shore, he saw a strange animal “very swift and beautiful”, with a bright red body, its head jet black and its breast pure white. The beautiful animal has the size of a he-goat.
The companion said, “Your Highness, I have heard that in ancient times, it was a lion which has that appearance”.
Sang Nila Utama then established a city at Temasek and name it Singapura.
This is a short story about how the name of my country came by.
There is a pair of gibbons on the back of Singapore 50 dollars note. The gibbons are there not only to beautify the note but they also signify a great artist who contributed his entire whole life to the art world.
陈文希, Chen Wen Hsi, was born in China, Guangdong province. He migrated to Singapore in 1948 and passed on in 1992. He loves art and nature at a young age. He grown up in a suburb village and was taught by renowned artists like Pan Tianshou in Xinhua College of Arts in Shanghai, China.
Chen was proficient both in traditional Chinese ink paint and western oil paint. He focuses in observing the behavior of nature and animals. The subject varies from landscapes, figures, birds to animals. He has a penchant for gibbons and owned 6 of them. One white, one gray and four black ones. These beautiful animals gave him the opportunities to study the creature’s postures and its characteristics.
In 1975, Chen was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the then-Chancellor of the University of Singapore and the then-President of Singapore, Mr Benjamin Sheares. He earned many more titles like Public Service Star; Cultural & Communications Award just to name a few.
Chen was also a perfectionist to his own art works. While he was insistant to leave the best on earth, he burnt away paintings he deemed not up to his standard. A rigorous artist, he woke up early in the morning at 6am to do his paintings without a skip for many decades.
So the next time, if you happen to hold on to a Singapore 50 dollars note, just spare some time to say hello to these gibbons and the great artist before you pass it on to another!