Last weekend Carrie and I continued to check things off our must do in Singapore list and got a pleasant surprise as well.
We planned to go to Arab St. and the Muslim area of town to see the Malay Heritage Center and tour the Sultan Mosque but we also ended up taking in a few hours of Dragon Boat racing. All of them are summarized below and again don’t let anyone tell you Singapore is boring, you just have to dig below the surface to find some of the more intriguing things Singapore offers.
The mosque was our first stop and it was remarkable in its simplicity. I had never been to a mosque, but as most you know I am fascinated by world religions and there monuments and worship houses. The mosque is very large, it can accommodate 5,000 people and regularly has that many attendees on Friday afternoons. It was decorated simply with individual spots for each prayer, pointed towards Mecca (as is every mosque around the world), and just basic symbols. There are no idols or statues of any kind in the mosque. We were lucky to have a tour guide the explained the religion and building to us. Very fascinating.
Next we headed to the Malay heritage center which describes the Malaysian heritage of Singapore and how the Malaysians have contributed to Singapore in history through today. There were some wonderful old photos of Singapore and the traditional Malay style of life as well as a replica of an old style Malay house.
After the morning of touring we stopped for some middle eastern food including hummus, babaganoush, lamb kebabs, etc. But no photos this time, we will make sure to take them next time we have a proper sit down meal with friends around Arab St.
Following lunch we headed down to the Singapore river to get tired watching the competitors paddle the dragon boats.
Below are some pictures of the event, which was a day long regatta of races between various teams including some neighborhood boats, corporate teams, and the American Club, the British Club, the German Dragons, etc which consist mainly of expats who have taken a liking to Dragon Boat racing.
These are pictures of the starting docks and the safety of Singapore is obvious with the bright yellow life jackets.
The drummers in the front of the boats are beating the drums to time everyone’s stroke.
Above are a number of photos of the actual races going on, including the American Association of Singapore team. They beat out the Spanish Armada, the German Dragons, and the Australian Team.
There were a few spills during the day, which luckily Singapore is hot so the contestants could have even been happy for to take a swim, although they don’t look happy here.
What a photo finish and what a day for us to enjoy a unique and exciting sport.