Those who know me personally, know quite well that I love and respect Singapore a lot. Although I am not a citizen myself, I find myself defending Singapore every where I go and with every one I speak to.
I first visited Singapore in 1995 as a tourist and while travelling back from Singapore I made a little innocent wish of being able to visit Singapore again. I never knew that I will get married to someone 4 years later who lives in here. I moved here in 2009 after I got married and 8 years later, its become home now. Yes, I love pakistan but I respect singapore deeply.
In this post I will only speak about cultural and religious freedom that I have here.
Singapore is a multi cultural country with people of all religions living with harmony. It’s main languages are English, Chinese, Malay Bhasa and Tamil and the citizens comprise mainly of Chinese, Malay and Indian origin. The main religions here are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and there people from all religions are allowed to practice their own religion in their own way as long as they do not interfere in any one else’s practices.
I have spent a chunk of my childhood in UAE and some time in UK for my studies. Although I have never really faced serious bullying in my life directed particularly towards me but I have been called ‘Bloody Paki’ and treated as an inferior muslim for being a pakistani Muslim rather than being an Arab. But a lot of people might be unaware but I’m protected by law in Singapore against such discriminations. No one can call me names due to the way I look (the color of my eyes, my hair or my height can’t be commented upon), I can roam around in shalwar kameez the whole day without being worried about someone being judgemental, I can sue someone if their dog touches me (yes, this muslim sensitivity against dogs is highly regarded), halal food is readily available and I can even pray publicly in a park without being stared at. Also, the Muslim laws of marriage and inheritance are being looked upon by the Sharia courts of law.
And the best thing about living in Singapore is that we have lots of public holidays too: 2 each for each of the 4 main religions which also ensures that we do not have to worry about going to work on Eid day 🙂
* the beautiful picture of Sultan Masjid is not mine but taken off the Internet. Sultan Masjid might be the most famous masjid of Singapore as it’s a popular tourist destination but there are lots an lots of masjids and some of them very beautiful and majestic in terms of their architecture. The Islamic schools (medrasaa) are in abundance too masha Allah.
Written by Fatima Fizza
Edited by Pragya Shrivastava
The importance of cooking was made clear to me in that one month which I had spent in a single room of an Army mess. I had never really considered cooking as an important act in my life. My mother cooked and when she was tired or needed help our trusted manservant of long would pitch in and his food, although not exceptionally good was passably bearable. On weekends, holidays and trips abroad we ate out, Mediterranean, seafood from around the world and pizza were the staple favorites of the family (it wasn’t easy to agree on a single restaurant since we were a large family).
Even while travelling we mostly stayed in furnished apartments to allow for the occasional ‘roti and salan’ craving to be easily fulfilled. My mother, may God keep that excellent woman in great health always made it seem so easy. Then I got married and moved in with my in-laws. My mother in law was a keen cook too and despite being a working lady her kitchen ran smoothly and staple homemade food kept my stomach satisfied.
Although there was a difference in taste and variety, my inner cook still lay sleeping and setting foot inside the kitchen was not something I did much often except for the occasional baking. Cakes and Pizza I can bake since I was in grade school and except for a few special dinners and an occasional soup I was not tempted to be in the kitchen.
Then there came that one month when I was stuck in a single room and even though the mess waiters lined up daily to receive orders for any menu on this side of the Kabul River, whatever they presented each evening tasted oddly alike and of nothing I could put my finger on. So, it was this oxygen food (tasteless and odorless) that made me start wishing for a place of my own which must include a kitchen. The moment my husband and I shifted into our first new house, I focused on setting up the kitchen first (which is one place in the house where a woman who cooks spends a good part of her life).
With the expert help of my mother I did go about this task and started this wonderful journey of self-discovery which is cooking. Cooking is the other side of the coin which spells Foodie!
I am the average woman, trying to run a house, bring up well behaved children and balance relationships all the while trying to make something of my life. Unlucky to have been born with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I have been lucky to have life throw me a pretty amazing mix of everything and I have been learning on the job. I am an avid lover of nature, i love to read and write and occasionally paint. I’m blogging to share my personal experiences in case they prove to be of help to other thirty somethings and if not then be a source of amusement and humour. So do forgive me for my excesses in advance and comment to share your own take on my musings.
My little K is now a big girl. Over 3 years of age masha allah. potty trained. capable of proper conversations over manicure sessions.
and now also big enough for school alhamdulilah.
we did not look around too much for the school. all we needed was a preschool that will be good enough to prepare for a local school.
we started looking online for preschools. our criteria was simple:
1. river valley road so that pick and drop will be easy.
2. local singaporean management so that K will study in ‘local’environment rather than international so that it will be easy for her to adjust in primary school
3. fees. ofcourse.
after spending few days on phone and internet we finalized 3 preschools to visit and after visiting all 3 of them we finally chose Little Skoolhouse International for the following reasons:
1. friendly principal
2. owned by ntuc
3. fees is not too low but not too high as well
4. teachers seemed friendly and caring
5. children looked happy and well taken care of
so we are now done with registration. K’s uniform should be with us in a few days. we just need to buy a water bottle, a school bag and a small towel. and oh yea i need to order name tags.
because the countdown has begun already 🙂