Clients in Singapore enjoy a ‘Sultans of Spice’ walking tour in Kampong Glam:
On 2 June 2016, Asian Tigers Singapore’s clientele went on an informative walking tour in Kampong Glam with Ms Carol Joy of Journeys.
Kampong Glam is the traditional heart of Muslim life in Singapore. Since early colonial days, the area has attracted Muslims from diverse ethnic backgrounds, creating a vibrant community united by their common faith and lifestyle.
Our guests were first brought to Arab Street, where historic shophouses selling textiles, basketry, perfumes, pashmina scarves, and sarongs can be found together with traditional Muslim food offerings. Mediterranean, Malay and Western cuisines could also be found in Arab Street. It provided a great insight on the wonderful blend of cultures and diversity present in the Kampong Glam area.
Their next stop was the island’s largest mosque, the Sultan Mosque, a landmark in Kampong Glam. This majestic building was built in honour of Sultan Hussein of Singapore. The group was invited into the Mosque and saw the huge prayer room which could hold 5000 people at one time. As it was the Ramadan month on the Islamic lunar calendar, the tour guide explained the significance and ritual of fasting – one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
The group also stopped at a number of shops and met the owners who talked to us about their role in the community. The Muslim Perfumery was particularly fascinating. The tour allowed our guests to gain insight into a curious blend of Malay folk traditions and Islam through the legends of the mysterious ‘keris’ (dagger), exotic perfumes, ‘jamu’ remedies to every conceivable ailment, and the story of the faith that is so often misunderstood.
Our guests had an excellent time learning about one of the many races and cultures of Singapore.