Friday, August 31, 2007

Si Kar Teng

Jalan Membina (Opposite Zhangde Pri Sch)

Kim Tian Road (Next to Regency Suite)

Was it a coincidence or was it an attempt by HDB to provide residents with subtle hints of this area's original identity?

These modern Si Kar Tengs are found around the Kim Tian Place area. Even though these structures had been there for more than 10 years, I did not give it much thought until I realised the significance these pavilions had for this area.

I bet not many residents here knew about this also. The pavilions looked ordinary and there is nothing there to associate these pavilions to the origins of this area.

Maybe no one likes to remember that this was once a CHINESE cemetery and so one one talks about it. But the truth was this was a major Chinese cemetery in the 19th century and many pavilions were erected on the graves back then. Those pavilions were used as a shelter against the scorching sun when the descendants of the deceased came to pay their respects during the annual “Qing Ming” festival. As all the pavilions were erected with 4 pillars, so that was how this area was referred to as SI KAR TENG.

No one call this place SI KAR TENG anymore. I last time I heard it was probably in the early eighties. But my Dad's generation will still have vivid memories of this place as he told me he could see the coffins sticking out of the eroded slopes when he was much much younger.

I think I would have freaked out big time if I ever saw those sticking around.......remember....OLD OVER SIZED CHINESE coffins.....not the modern sleek designed type with MP3 players and built in aircon.

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