Today is Singapore’s National Day. While I sit in my room updating this entry from the middle east, most of my friends over there are probably watching ( NDP ) The National Day Parade. I remember one year with my mates from Boys Brigade Company 19, queued up overnight to secure ourselves a ticket to attend. How typically Singaporean. haha. Although I was not born on that small Island, my father was, so I spent a decade there and thus began my love/hate relationship with that Country. I use the term hate loosely. Looking back as a rebellious teenager, I am almost certain that no matter where I spent my teenage years, I was sure to find something regimental and unbearable about the place. I was born a free soul, and my inability to soar in the clouds at that age made me feel like a prisoner. It is now many years on that I reflect back on my upbringing there, that I realize the strict regulations there kept me in check. Knowing myself at that age, If I had free rein, I could have turned out to be a very bad kid.
At 16, while waiting for my friend at Far East Plaza, I got bored so I walked into Johnny 2 thumbs tattoo and Piercing and got my nipple pierced. At first I was just admiring the folks in there, then I felt compelled to have a real piercing, not one of the eight ear holes I already had. That was the beginning. If I had enough cash on me then I would have gone for a Prince Albert instead. Siow Yan was rather alarmed by my compulsive nature but was riveted at my new bar bell which I still wear today, amongst my other body jewelry. I have many eclectic memories of that time but I’ll save them all for my annual entry on National Day.
Calling Singapore home for many years exposed me to appreciate the Indian and Malay cultures as well as my own. One such culture is Panguni Uthiram, an Indian festival that celebrates the wedding of important deities in the Hindu religion.
Devotees on the Panguni Uthiram day carry the famous Kavadis, the requisites of puja for him in fulfillment of vows. This also entails a variety of piercings through the tongue, cheeks and other body parts.
I was the only non hindu person there photographing this. Absolutely fascinating, felt like I travelled to India.