The Great Affair

Why do we travel?  About three weeks ago, after much deliberation, hemming and hawing, I embarked on a trip. Contextualising it in the time frame of other friends who were also going overseas at the time,  my trip may have been mistaken (by others and myself) for what is commonly understood these days as a […]

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Slivers, Skies & Sandwiches

Like squirrels, we sometimes stash our histories and tragedies in little fragments and corners of the world, and then promptly forget about them. Little glimpses: words and pictures, smells and sounds.  Above:from the instarchives,  53 weeks ago Below: from the instapost one day ago  Last evening , as I stepped off the bus home, one […]

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Songs & Sentences

So why do you like her? Obvious as it sounds this was a question that used to stump me quite a good bit whenever I was in a relationship. I remember the earliest answer I generated, when someone asked me this question about my first girlfriend. With nearly a decade since of hindsight, I realise […]

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A Zoo in the Garden (City)

In 1968, just three years after Singapore’s traumatic separation from Malaysia – and despite the urgent, competing needs of a new nation – a committee was formed to study the feasibility of creating a national zoo. Ong Swee Law, the chairman of the Public Utilities Board (PUB), headed this committee. As discussed previously, many animal […]

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Zoos in Singapore’s Past

As a regional and international trading nexus, Singapore has long been a point of transit for the exotic animal trade.[1] This trade was so rampant and so widespread that the colonial government was forced to pass an ordinance in 1930 banning the trafficking of orangutans through Singapore.[2] Exotic animal collections nonetheless flourished in Singapore. Many prominent […]

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Introductions: Studying Zoos

The practice of keeping and displaying animals has existed for millennia, from the “sacred menageries” of ancient Egypt to the “zoological gardens” of the nineteenth century.[1] Over time, their role and function has varied significantly. Modern “zoological gardens”, with their emphasis on science, education, recreation and conservation are hence simply the latest incarnations of institutions […]

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