Burmese Roads Along Balestier

Moulmein was the third largest city in Myanmar before it was a TV sitcom. Akyab was a thriving port in Western Myanmar that has been in the news lately for ethnic strife. Rangoon was a cosmopolitan entrepôt and a jewel in the crown in the British Empire before it became well known for bak kut teh.

What do all of these places have to do with a Burmese traditional medicine man who came to settle in Singapore more than a hundred years ago?

We will retrace the footsteps of an early Burmese immigrant to Singapore named U Kyaw Gaung. He dreamed of spreading Burmese Theravada Buddhism to Singapore and was the chief trustee of the Burmese Buddhist Temple. It is also believed that the Burmese names for the roads were suggested by him to the Singapore government.

Our tour will start at the old location of the Burmese Buddhist Temple, on Kinta Road in Little India, where it was originally located since 1875. From there, we will trace the Burmese roads along Balestier while being introduced to their namesakes and the social issues that surround them in present day Myanmar. These discussions will be interwoven with an exploration of the physical and social heritage of Balestier Road and stories of early Burmese immigrants to Singapore. The walk will end at the new location of the Burmese Buddhist temple in Tai Gin Road, a place where modern day Burmese immigrants have gathered for prayer and devotion since it was relocated there in 1988. From the 19th century shop houses along Little India, to the gleaming condos in Novena, this walk will explore the linkages between Singapore and Myanmar from the past and the present.
Sun May 3, 2015
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM SGT
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Meet at Farrer Park MRT
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Meet at Farrer Park MRT Singapore
Jane's Walk Singapore 2018