Episode 3: Everything Yums

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Episode 3: Everything Yums


This was a time before burgers, french fries and chicken nuggets. Join Auntie Linda as she shares her favourite candy and memories of helping out at her family’s hawker stall.

  • Episode summary

    The kids encounter their worst nightmare – a time before fast food restaurants! In this episode, they learn about street hawkers and sample popular snacks from yesteryear. Auntie Linda shares her childhood memories of helping out at the noodle stall that her grandmother ran in Chinatown.

  • Recommended Books

    Eat with your Eyes

    Eat with Your Eyes
    by Low Lai Chow
    Publisher: National Gallery Singapore

    For little art lovers and their grown-up companions, feast on 14 yummy modern Southeast Asian artworks from the National Gallery Singapore. Don’t forget to share these tasty nibbles with a friend or two!

    Source: Synopsis from National Gallery Singapore

    Sing a Song of Hawker Food

    Sing a Song of Hawker Food
    by Lianne Ong
    Publisher: WS Education

    The worlds of nursery rhymes and Singapore hawker food collide in this book. Dive into fractured nursery rhymes with a local twist, featuring Singapore hawker food.Imagine Humpty Dumpty enjoying kaya toast, Jack and Jill grilling satay on a hill and the three blind mice eating chicken rice at the hawker centre. Wouldn’t that be a funny sight?

    Cheeky illustrations highlight aspects of Singapore hawker culture that children will have fun identifying. Young readers (and not-so-young ones) can sing or read these hawker food rhymes and follow the familiar rhythms, while naming the well-loved hawker fare that appear in the rhymes.

    Source: Synopsis from World Scientific

    Nini Eat First Talk Later

    Nini Eat First Talk Later
    by Fanny Lai
    Publisher: Rojak City

    Nini Eat First Talk Later tells the story of Singapore’s multi-cultural food heritage. It shows what life was like in the 60’s when family, friends and food were the most important things in life. With hundreds of Singapore’s famous street food beautifully illustrated for foodies.

    Source: Synopsis from book cover

  • Curated Resources

    Blast from the Past
    Food Hawkers
    Since the 1800s, hawkers have been peddling their wares on the streets and selling scrumptious favourites. Check out this curated selection of archival materials from the National Archives of Singapore to find out more about the hawker culture we know and love.

    Food Culture
    Food has always been an integral part of Singapore’s culture and heritage. Take a look at the various things that have contributed to our country’s rich food heritage, from traditional tiffin carriers (tingkat) and the sounds of itinerant hawkers, to famous dining venues of the past and the introduction of fast food.

    Off the Record
    Itinerant Hawker, 1950
    Itinerant hawkers were already common sights in Singapore by the second half of the 19th century. These hawkers sold everything from food to textiles and moved from place to place to sell their goods. Hop on to the Archives Online to view more records on this topic.

    Singapore Infopedia
    Glutton’s Square
    by Nureza Ahmad & Azizah Sidek
    Glutton’s Square was one of the most popular street dining venues in Singapore in the 1970s. It was located in a carpark along Orchard Road, opposite what is now Centrepoint shopping mall.

    Oral History Interviews

    Oral History Interview with Wong Chow Meng
    Accession Number: 002395

    Mr Wong Chow Meng talks about the street hawkers and famous food stalls found in Chinatown in the 60s and 70s. He recounts an old hawker who sold bread on a bicycle and how customers would bring their own containers to buy food. To listen to the interview, head on to reel/disc 5.

    Oral History Interviewee: Nicholas Tang Khui Cheong
    Accession Number: 001757

    Mr Nicholas Tang Khui Cheong talks about the food that was sold during wayang (Chinese street opera) performances. He also describes how hawkers would call out to their patrons as they made their way through the neighbourhood. To listen to the interview, head on to reel/disc 21 and 23.

    Oral History Interviewee: Sylvia Toh Paik Choo
    Accession Number: 003903

    Ms Sylvia Toh Paik Choo describes how itinerant hawkers would visit the kampungs (Malay for rural villages) to sell their wares, what food they sold and how much it cost. To listen to the interview, head on to reel/disc 9.

    Audiovisual Recordings

    Programme Title: Singapore Scene
    Accession No: 2018012146
    Ken Illsley Collection, courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore

    Filmed by former British military personnel Ken Illsley who was based in Singapore in the late 50s, this home movie shows scenes of Clifford Pier, workers loading and unloading goods at the Singapore River, trishaw riders on Cavenagh Bridge, streets bustling with people, and families hanging around the street hawkers.


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