Thaipusam Festival in Singapore

Thaipusam festival (or how to get closer with an x100s)

Events, Little India, Singapore, Uncategorized

It all happened so quicky – twenty-five floors up and down plus two, a round table meal and that question from Nicolas, ‘Have you heard about The Thaipusam Festival?’

Thaipusam Festival in Singapore

Tuesday night training sessions became routine lately, two hours of sweat and fast heart beat and pain. Well, I use to call it pain but I promise after what I saw on Wednesday morning I will never use that word in vain again.

So let me explain a little bit more.

The Thaipusam Festival is a Tamil celebration in Singapore that attracts thousands of Hindu devotees who fulfill their vows through a 4km walk, some of them carrying heavy artifacts attached to their bodies through a complex system of thin arrows and needles that are literally attached to the body, pierced to the mouth and tongue. It’s often described as a strong control over one’s senses but for me, who can’t even stand the thought of an ear-piercing, it’s a whole long agonising process of pain (the real one) and sacrifice.

So if you are sensitive you might want to stop reading now – I hope you don’t 🙂

Thaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in Singapore

It’s often described as a strong control over one’s senses but for me, who can’t even stand the thought of an ear-piercing, it’s a whole long agonising process of pain (the real one) and sacrifice.

4Thaipusam Festival in Singapore

So why did I add the x100s to the title (again)? Well, it was the only camera I took along to the festival as I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I had a busy day and as usual, I try to carry less weight around so the x100s was an obvious choice. A small point and shoot with a fixed lens with good quality glass. The challenge is that it always adds a bit of tension when you need to get closer to your subject, especially when the subject is a person, but I had no choice and to be fair the x100s is still my favorite little camera.

Thaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in Singapore

The challenge is that it always adds a bit of tension when you need to get closer to your subject, especially when the subject is a person, but I had no choice and to be fair the x100s is still my favorite little camera.

Thaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in SingaporeThaipusam Festival in Singapore


Fujifilm x100s


 

Hari Raya and the Arab St.

Kampong Glam, Singapore

One of my favorite neighbourhoods in Singapore is a district that many refer to as Arab Street. It is unclear whether this is the official district name, or if it is just a popular name given due to its characteristics, but what seems to be more consensual is that the area belongs to a wider historical district called Kampong Glam. This place, also refered to as the Muslim Quarter, hosts one of the most iconic buildings in Singapore, the Sultan Mosque, and is an important destination for Singaporean Muslims during the Ramadan period.

And because the Hari Raya Puasa is approaching – that’s how the Malays refer to Eid,  the end of Ramadan and fasting – I decided to go back there, again, and take some shots.

 

HR-22HR-7HR-230HR-24HR-233HR-232HR-21

 

Arab Street is more than just a Muslim quarter or a historical site, its tradition and contemporaneity packed in a beautiful, well-preserved neighborhood, right in the heart of Singapore. The whole area is not too big, you should be able to cover it within a couple of hours, maybe less, in time to catch an early dinner at one of the trendy eateries. You could however spend more time there if you allow yourself to absorb the detail – Haji Lane is a good example. A tiny road with huge character, a lane in the Muslim quarter with an unexpected vibe and livelihood.

 

HR-8HR-9HR-12

HR-1HR-234HR-236

 

If photography is your thing, and you want to know a little bit more about the history of the camera, there’s a vintage camera museum to the north of Arab Street – corner of Jln Kledek and Victoria Street – the Vintage Camera Museum. The museum opened very recently. It´s a “documentary on the evolution of cameras and its journey “, a cool place worth the ten dollars that they charge for the tour, but if you don’t have the time or the interest in the subject or even the money to spend at least go to checkout the exterior of the museum. The house itself is built in the shape of a camera and the entry of the museum is made through a passage depicting a lens!

 

HR-20HR-3


Hari Raya and the Arab St.

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujinon 35mm F2