Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books on Sigapore Culture

This is a selection of recent titles on Singapore culture:

Choi! Touchwood! - A Walk Through Singapore's Chinatown: A Journey In Chinese Traditions Superstitions, Myths And Taboos edited by Liew Jie Ni and Jesvin Yeo. In this unusual small book vivid paintings and drawings bring to life not only the central streets of Singapore's old Chinatown but also customs and superstitions which have considerable influence well beyond this small area. In the insert, the pedestrian is offered useful tips, noteworthy trivia and stimulating questions which will make for an interesting and unusual experience. Bibliography and sketch map.

Short Pants No Underwear by Sarmukh Singh. The author tells chatty tales of events in his 1960s childhood in West Malaysia, where his police officer father's postings meant the family was often shuttled to new homes in urban or rural areas. The incidents related of his experiences and dramas uncover vivid insights into ways of childhood thinking and family life of the recent past, which probably differ substantially from those of today.

The Complete Eh, Goondu! by Sylvia Toh Paik Choo. The bestselling "Eh, Goodu!" and "Lagi Goodu!" appeared in 1982 and 1986 and famously crystallised many of the words and phrases which form Singapore's expressive patois, Singlish. This "vernacular" is now a subject of serious study as well as controversy and is often an ever-evolving feature of Singaporean identity. These two publications have now been made available again in this welcome 2011 single-volume reissue.

Yan Lun 81 by Koh Eng Soon. Koh Eng Soon is Singapore-born writer. This is a compilation of his letters that have seen publication in various local Chinese-language newspapers and journals between 1970 and 2010. The letters reflect his opinions about literature, films, art, music and society. In Chinese.

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