Friday, 8 October 2010

the bag lady of Little India

Little India is an ethnic neighbourhood found in Singapore that has Tamil cultural elements.

 Little India is one of Singapore's most colorful districts spreading out along Serangoon Rd, populated by the descendants of the Indians who arrived in Singapore in the mid 1800’s.

Little India is full of activity at any time of the day or night, the food is incredible with many places to choose from for lunch or dinner. The colours are beyond the norm and even more so during Deepavali and with so many different people wandering around this makes for a busy and exciting area of Singapore. Then of course add to that the richness of the many cultures, the clothing and the gold jewelry!

and then you come across an old auntie 
(she was at least 75 years of age)
who makes her living from gathering cardboard boxes 
and other such throw away items.

The following images will tell their own story
 and then she disappears from sight
past the office workers, the lunch crowds, the girls on their phones, 
the men in their business suits, the women shoppers, 
then men reading the paper and I wonder if any of them actually noticed her?


Demented but happy said...

There are so many "aunties and uncles" doing this here. It makes me so sad every time I see them. And you're right - just like in any big city - they are probably invisible to most people.

I know there are Social Workers and Charities in Singapore supporting children and families - but I often wonder who supports the elderly here :o(

Leone said...

Catherine, the families are 'expected' to care for them .... they grow up with the belief that they must care for their elderly and the majority do. I know of some families where the mother/grandmother prefers to live alone and be independent and so the children/grandchildren all contribute financially to her upkeep.

But I do think most families care for their own. We don't know, this lady may have family but does enjoy out of being out walking along the streets. I guess we all assume she is poor and badly treated ... but we just don't know!

Goodness me, she could even be a millionaire!! How many times do we read that in the paper? Here they are living on the poverty line only to die and leave millions to the charities. It just looks incredibly sad to us though.

Lisa said...

It's important to think about and find out about those in need in our immediate worlds... then hopefully try to find a way to DO something about it... thanks for the affecting phtos

Demented but happy said...

I know that's the custom here Leone - and its not a bad thing - but I do wonder what happens to those elderly people who have no children to look after them :o(

Being married to someone from a different culture has really opened my eyes to how things are done differently from "the western world". Looking after relatives is very much the norm in Africa too and living here, away from my parents, makes me realise how much I'd love to have them live with us. I miss their interaction with the kids so much.

Much as I love them - a few years ago having my parents move in with me would have been my worst nightmare - but I'm really beginning to see the benefits to all the family of living as an extended family unit.