Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Bukit Brown status - snapshot February 2015

What's happening on the ground in Bukit Brown? Is Bukit Brown still accessible and open despite the works going on ? This are the questions people ask me. The answer is a resounding yes. The exhumations have already been completed and works are already under way in the clearing and flattening the land in the preparation of the 8 lane highway, but there still other areas not affected yet for the moment.

Below are some pictures i took in my trips to Bukit Brown from October 2014 to end January 2015 to give you a snapshot of the situation at ground level.

October 2014
Clearing of the tombs and leveling of the ground (seen through the gates)

Leveling of the ground of former Seh Ong cemetery (view from Lornie Road)

November 2014

First person to be listed on the burial registrar is not afffected. Not so for her neighbour

Headstone broken to signify that the tomb is no longer home

January 2015

Clearing of Hill 4 

Clearing of Hill 3 

Materials use in tomb making. Some of this brick kilns no longer exist 

Entrance to Bukit Brown looks like a construction site

Bukit Brown - the Singapore Story 
However bleak or depressing the above pictures may seem, the heritage discoveries continue and so do the heritage tours by the community of volunteers who called themselves "Brownies". 
The purpose is to create awareness and educate people on the intrinsic value of this cemetery as a heritage park. Its unique cultural value are reflected and etched in its stone carvings, the peranakan tiles and sculptures such as the Punjabi or Sikh Guards

The stories that continue to be uncovered reflects the Singapore story, the story of the pioneers who made Singapore their home, built it brick by brick, of people who socialised, mingled and adopted cultures of the local population, of people who lived through major timelines such as the British Colonial rule, the Japanese Occupation and Singapore' early struggles to gain and eventually its Independence, of people who died in defence of Singapore, are found in Bukit Brown. 

Etched on the tombs of this pioneers are the different calender systems representing the rise and fall of Qing dynasty, loyalist Calender, the Republic of China Calender, the Japanese Koki calender and Gregorian calenders. On the epitaph of this tombs are poems of lament, of love, of education, of hopes and aspirations. 

If you not visited Bukit Brown, join one of this free public tours. National Heritage also recently in January 2015 announced six new guided tours under it's Battle for Singapore project, which commemorates Singapore's fall to the Japanese 73 years ago and its liberation from them three years later.
A public tour organised by the Brownies in January 2015
A public tour organised by the Brownies in January 2015 
Tours for 2015 will continue
The tours will continue 

2 comments:

dazzakoh said...

Great post! Brownies are still guiding. .. history still being unravelled. ..

Rojak Librarian said...

Thank you dazzakoh for the kind words.