Happy 33rd Birthday To Us!
On 13 September 2018, we celebrated our 33rd Anniversary + belated Teachers’ Day. We decided that this year’s celebration will comprise of a heritage tour in the morning and a hearty lunch. Where, you asked?
We reported at Bunka’s premises and met our bus driver, Gaffoor-san and our tour guide, Kobayashi-san. Kobayashi-san has been staying in Singapore for over 30 years and we were so happy to have her.
First stop: Kampong Lorong Buangkok
We visited one of the last two kampongs in Singapore; Kampong Lorong Buangkok (the other kampong is located in Pulau Ubin). Kampong Lorong Buangkok is a village built in 1956, located in Buangkok in the town of Hougang in Singapore.
For some of us (not including the Japanese teachers), it was our first visit here. I’ve been to Pulau Ubin before, so the entrance feels familiar. But the lane leading to the houses was small so I wasn’t sure how big the area is.
As we walked further in, we were welcomed by beautiful houses and an atmosphere that takes you back in time.
‘1954’ was the original postal code of Lorong Buang Kok. Now it’s been changed to the 6 digit codes.
There is a surau (smaller version of a mosque) located in the Kampong.
Second stop: Japanese Cemetery Park
The Japanese Cemetery Park is a cemetery and park located in Hougang, Singapore. It houses more than 900 tombstones and is the largest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia at 29,359 square metres. It contain the remains of members of the Japanese community in Singapore, including young Japanese sex workers, civilians, soldiers and convicted war criminals executed in Changi Prison. It was gazetted as a memorial park by the Singapore government in 1987.
The Japanese Association of Singapore maintains the cemetery, which has since became a memorial park in 1987 for the appreciation of history and for its natural flora and fauna. As a legacy of the history of Japan and Singapore, the cemetery park is often visited by Japanese students, veterans, residents and tourists
A prayer hall, built in 1986
Last stop: Lunch at Aquamarine
We had our lunch at AquaMarine restaurant (halal-certified) located in Marina Mandarin Hotel. The buffet features Asian and international cuisines as well as a fantastic dessert selection. No pictures of food because we were hungry + busy choosing and eating = no time to take photo. But we managed to take photos after all that makan. Food coma!
If you have time, do go visit the two places we visited. Wished we had more time to visit other places. Nevertheless, it was a well spent day with the team.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for these 33 years! We couldn’t have done it without you as well as support from our previous team members. Looking forward to more years with you!