‘Samsui’ Woman

May 28, 2010

When I was travelling in Singapore, I came across this sculpture:

This was outside a restaurant in China Town.  I was absolutely intrigued by it.

So, when I visited the Asian Civilisations Museum, I was keen to found out more.  Apparently, it seemed as though it was a commemoration of Samsui women: these were Chinese immigrants who came to Singapore between the 1920s and the 1940s in search of construction and industrial jobs around the Singapore River.  This was significant, as traditionally, women did not get involved in these occupations.

Before arriving in Singapore, most Samsui women took vows never to marry. They lived in cramped conditions with other Samsui women, helping out each other and forming tightly united cliques. Usually wore blue garments and iconic red headdress.

Quite a sorority!  The testimonies of these women were quite inspirational, and I admire the courage they had to defy cultural conventions, in order to work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: