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Old 1980s & 1990s photos of Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar show how different it used to be

Nostalgia.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 27, 02:22 am

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Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar 2019 will take place from May 3 to June 5.

Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar from May 3 to June 5, 2019 will be decorated with fairy lights

Bringing back to the old good days

This year’s bazaar is returning to its traditional Malay roots, according to the organisers.

This was in response to public feedback on how the bazaar was losing its authenticity, with the bazaar of recent years having too many contemporary and “hipster” offerings.

2019 Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar food to be 40% hipster, 60% traditional, rental capped at S$14,000

Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar in the 80s and 90s

Those visiting the bazaar for the past few years may not have realised how much things have changed.

Here are some old photos from the national archives, showing how the bazaar was like in the 80s and 90s.

The crowd

This photo was taken in 1991 to show the “crowded roads before Hari Raya”.

Here’s a bird-eye view of the bazaar in 1997.

Here’s another in 1995.

Nothing comparable to the crowd that you have to squeeze through nowadays.

Decorations

Items and food

Here’s a photo of a stall with banana or coconut leaves laying in the open air for sale in 1995.

Probably for making ketupats.

Vases too.

A stall that sells grilled fish.

And one can play traditional games too.

Snacks and kuih-kuihs.

Artificial flowers.

Freshly-made bamboo rice.

Clothes and household items.

For more old photos of the bazaar, you can visit the Anything Halal Facebook group.

All photos from National Archives Singapore

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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