Hougang Hainanese Village 後港海南椰園村

This 13m long mural depicts the Hougang Hainanese Village around the 1950s/60s. It is within the private compound of ‘The Serangoon Khiung-Jai Co-villagers Association’ (102 Lorong Ah Soo). “Khiung Jai” (瓊崖) is the traditional meaning of “Hainanese”. Up to the 1980s, many Hainanese families lived in Lorong Ah Soo, thus it was also called “Hai Lam Hng”. The village area was also known as “coconut grove village” (椰園村) due to the abundance of coconut trees.The visuals of the mural were pieced together mainly based on oral descriptions by the Association members, a couple of old photos, and lots of my own imagination. Several members took turns to orally describe the layout of the village. They described the school 公立化蒙學校 as an L-shaped building with a basketball court. There was a temple 水尾聖娘 in the middle of one block and a canteen at one end. The temple faced an opera stage, which was used as a classroom when operas were not performing. They also described the market layout, including the positions of the variety of stalls and shops. At the end of the street was the Association’s former building. It was a fun reconstruction process!

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