By Angela Shen
Singapore is a melting pot. Once dubbed by a friend as “culturally confused,” it’s an island with a population of over 5 million people, almost half of which are foreign nationals, thus allowing numerous cultures to thrive together in one city-state. Despite having very little land area in comparison to other countries (I was told by a local that Malaysia to the north is sometimes referred to as “elder brother” because of its size), Singapore has four official languages—Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil. While the majority of the population is Chinese Singaporean, there are significant Malay and Indian communities. Walking into different areas of the city, a person is immersed in one culture after another, with places like Little India being a significant tourist attraction.
Little India has its origins in the 1800’s; it started out as an area to raise cattle and was thusly the place where Europeans (mostly) would gather. Soon, after an Indian population emerged, various religious landmarks (such as Hindu temples and mosques), as well as businesses, started to appear. Today, Little India is a vibrant area with various influences that excite the senses. Visitors have several options for lodging, including hostels and hotels. Most choices are very cheap, but there’s a “you get what you pay for” mentality, meaning that the hotels in the area aren’t of the highest quality. Even if travelers stay somewhere else, this neighborhood is still worth visiting.Continue reading The Sights and Scents of Singapore’s Little India