It’s often hot in the hawker centre, and often crowded, with long queues. But that’s part of its character — undeniably awesome, and brings a taste of home with it each time. It is also a wonderful snapshot of who we are as a country — where different cuisines across our different races, culminate in one sweet spot.
My neighbourhood hawkers are like neighbours to me. They have seen me grow since young. They can talk and share experience. Hawkers is not only about food, it’s about hardships, experience and flavour of life – human touch, connection and interaction. How a 1st generation wants to find a 2nd generation to take over. How a hawker owner deals with resources. How a hawker dad chase after his naughty son. It’s an educational journey for those who had no access to management studies. They are teaching through experiences. A hawker is not just about food, it’s about bond, apprenticeship, guiding and having human connection esp. in this digital world today
Hawker centers are places to connect with communities, family and friends. Perhaps in a small way, enable one to partake in egalitarianism, even if for a brief moment.
Hawker culture is an enduring part of what makes up Singapore. It brings us the comforting feeling of home despite the heat, and is an indulgence we have access to no matter which part of Singapore we’re in. It is what many of us have grown up with and I am so grateful to the hawkers who spend many hours in the heat frying, cooking, boiling and serving us wonderful food. As a Singaporean, it is my pride and honour to have such a vibrant hawker culture in our country.
Hawker centres are meeting places where an affordable variety of “home cooked” meals are shared with family, neighbours, friends, colleagues and strangers, both young and old, rich and poor.
Hawker food is essential part of our history. It also blends all the culture and background into this place where we can share our experience and life together with all different races and people.