Now is the year 2018 and not 1960s or 1970s, yet the “Kampung Spirit” of Singaporeans is still alive amidst modernisation and urbanisation.
In a small cluster of flats across four blocks in Elias Park area in Pasir Ris, umbrellas are shared among the residents–a step to rekindle a faith in humanity. However, not everyone has the same positive outlook on the said initiative after it was uploaded on Reddit r/singapore.
Some netizens doubted that it would never last long and some are even cynical that it is not sustainable given that there are people who have bad behaviours of not returning those umbrellas to their sharing spots even after they are done using.
Two netizens even predicted the fate of all the umbrellas in this kind of community sharing situation.
On the other side, some believed that this umbrella-sharing initiative would really work out, as this is not the first time the “kampung spirit” is transpired in the community. The same thing also happened in Woodlands, Tampines, Boon Lay, and Sembawang according to a handful of netizens.
For the Singaporeans, “Kampung Spirit” is a sense of social cohesion in a community and a sense of neigbourliness that can be traced back during the post-second World War where the citizens are living rural kampongs or villages due to a big housing problem.
In the book Kampong Spirit – Gotong Royong: Life in Potong Pasir, 1955-1965 by Josephine Chia, it is accounted as: the coming together of the community to help and sustain each other. Multi-racial communities lived in the kampong like an extended family where everyone’s doors were kept open, neighbours kept a look-out for each other, and the children played with one another without any thought of discriminating against the others for being of a different race. This is the kampong spirit at its best.
Will the umbrella-sharing be successful or will it just be a passing thing for the community in Pasir Ris? Does the “Kampung spirit” still touch the lives of the people or it is just a thing of the past and a part of history? These remain to be open-ended questions. And the answers are yet to unfold in the coming days.