Who would ever wanted to remember the first day of the Chinese New Year on 15 February, 1942 when Singapore fell to the Imperial Japanese Army?
How to greet everyone "新年快乐" (Xin Nian Kuai Le) - "Happy New Year"?
How to celebrate the Chinese New Year in fear, in danger of bombing and massacre?
It was the start of a phase of darkness for everyone in Singapore until 12 September, 1945 when the war ended.
I wasn't born then on that fateful day in Singapore in 1942. I never had the chance to learn about the Chinese New Year six decades ago from my mother when she was still alive. I believe she had wanted to forget about an inauspicious Chinese New Year Day and like every Chinese Singaporeans' unhappy experiences and memories in the past and never mentioned to me about it until she passed away.
Its history...bitter lessons of an atrocious crime of mankind, of war and peace, of life and death.
Over a century after two world wars, the civilized world of nations today realized that we have to live in peace and respect the people of all sovereign countries for political stability and peace. Now a world of international law, order and security. Not to kill people like killing insects in the past.
In peacetime Singapore after World War II, Chinese Singaporeans for generations could revive fond nostalgic memories of everyone for the young and old, celebrate the traditions of our respective cultures. For selective memories of Chinese Singaporeans to share our stories and precious memorable photos collected by the Singapore Memory Project for our collective memories.
In my memory, the Chinese New Year was always the time when we enjoyed goodies, wore new clothes and visited relatives...once a year. Through my memories of growing up in Bukit Ho Swee, Singapore, I see that actually a lot has changed. There was fun playing with fire-crackers and playing cards to gamble.
Like everything else, the New Year celebration has changed lots since I was little. But no matter what has changed, Chinese New Year is the happiest time for children, then and now!
For Chinese New Year 2013, the Singapore Memory Project is launching the "iremember Chinese New Year" campaign from Monday, 14 January to Saturday, 9 February 2013 at 24 libraries in Singapore under the National Library Board.
The public is encouraged to contribute their memories of Chinese New Year. For each completed postcard, they can redeem a pack of Singapore Memory Project hongbaos. Each pack contains five hongbaos, each week of different designs.
The details of the "irememberChineseNewYear" campaign is available here .
The blog topics are based on the memory card to share personal photos and achived photos found elsewhere and the courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore with thanks and acknowledgement.
Visiting relatives and friends:
|Visiting old folks to celebrate at the Red Cross House in 1974|
Munching on New Year goodies
|Home-made cookies for Chinese New Year in 1970s|
|Advertisement of bottled drink in the 1950s|
|Drinks at the sarabat stall in 1962|
|"Ting ting" and molasses candy stall in 1986|
Visiting Chinatown's New Year bazaar
|A little girl helping her mother with marketing for Chinese New Year in 1956|
|A vegetable hawker on a push-cart in Chinatown in 1956 Chinese New Year|
|A young girl buying Chinese New Year 1956 cards in Chinatown|
|A ladies hairdressing salon in Chinatown in 1957 to perm new hairdo for Chinese New Year|
|Chinese New Year 1956 shoppers at Chinatown at night|
The contributions to "irememberChineseNewYear" at Singapore Memory Portal at anytime here to share our memories with stories and photos.
Please dig up the piles of old photos taken during the Chinese New Year in the past and share them at the Singapore Memory Portal. Some nostalgic memories of popular places of interest in Singapore visited with the friends and family during the Chinese New Year holidays.
|Haw Par Villa in 1980|
|Istana Negara in 1971|
|Watching lion dance performance in Chinatown in 1973|
|New frocks on first day of Chinese New Year in 1957|
|Botanic Gardens in 1957|