The Singapore Necklace
A Secret Love Across Two Cultures
by Jaim Kaan
THE SINGAPORE NECKLACE Storyline The narrative took place in 1914 Singapore in a span of ten months. A part of the British Straits Settlements finding itself well into the age of the industrial revolution, due to the opening of the Suez Canal and thanks to the island’s unique location, Singapore grew rapidly into an important thriving trading post. The city has put itselftogether into a shipshape and organized place of commerce but also a proper place of living – the infrastructure kept abreast of the business development; roads were built, electricity network replaced gas lights, water was pounded and piped to industries and residences - but also telephone, telegraph and postalservices were part daily life. The love story evolved not only in a place where western quality of living were injected catering for colonial life – clubs, a horse race-course, sports grounds, and department stores sprung up besides markets, cinemas, parks, schools and churches – but the account occurred in an era when Victorian morality of restraint, rigid social codes of conduct and class system has been instilled. Residential areas were separated based on race, non-europeans were barred from certain places and were discouraged from travelling first class. A love between a European and one from another culture wasn’t quite tolerated then, certainly so were that bond between two men. In a historic era, just two years after the sinking of the Titanic,in the period the 1st World War unleashed in Europe and the year that the famous Singapore Sling was conceived, two young men living in Singapore - a British and a Chinese - discovered feelings for one another that they couldn’t comprehend themselves. As their curiosity prevailed the mutual fondness blossomed in the midst of a tropical setting letting trams,rickshaws, cars, trains and boats transport them on their fine journeys and experiences. The sombre ending of the union was all to blame on the nasty World War spreading its negativity to the colonies. But in a twist of fate and after a long wait in limbo, the two lovers were united, free at last.
- AuthorHouse, May 2012
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