Thursday, May 20, 2010

Songbird Culture

A few Saturday mornings ago, Larry and I were up and at em early. We had errands to run, and roti prata to eat. It was a pretty, vaguely cool morning. As we were pulling out of our complex, Larry asked if I had my camera, so I could take a quick picture of something funny for his brother. That reminded us that we have been wanting to go to the our local aviary and take pictures. What's an aviary? In the more central, or heartland neighborhoods, there is often a park set up for Singapore's Songbird enthusiasts. I've tried to do a little research on it, but it's been harder to dig up info on it than I expected.

This park is in our neighborhood, tucked away, behind a wet market and hawker court. Early mornings, before it gets too hot, people bring their Songbirds in intricately carved, teak wood cages. The cages are beautiful, ornate, most custom made, with special ornaments and adornments. Cages are handed down from generation to generation. The birds are often prinices, robins, shikes, merboks, china thrushes, ect.

Larry and I parked the car (well, he parked, I just sat there looking cute), and I gave us a pep talk that we were very much the outsiders in this adventure, and that we had to be super respectful. We got a few curious glances, but though we weren't heartily welcomed, the people were friendly and polite. I tried to stay towards the edge, I didn't want to disturb the men chatting and swapping bird tips. Larry went off to take pictures, and explore a little further. It was truly a beautiful place. The noise level was amazing...the birds were singing their little hearts out. And though it was loud, it was also very peaceful and relaxing.

Once again, I was pleasantly surprised to find another little piece of this curious Singapore puzzle. They build huge high rises, are one of the biggest and most powerful shipping ports, adhere to and make strident rules, demand cleanliness and strive for an utopian society. But tucked away in little nooks, you can still glimpse the way Singapore used to be...a little slower, a little less clean, a little less flashy. Larry and I both say all the time that we love living in the 'heartland' rather than in the expat part of town. We never would have had the chance to see this wonderful place. oh, and I got my tea in a bag too, so I felt very local too!


Debbie said...

Those bird cages are very cool! I bet it sounded cool!

cajunsis said...

Oh what great pics! I have only gotten a few of them, but I have seen lots of the 'bird cities' out and about. Loved looking at your pics! Frank is dreamin' of those birds ;-)

Demented but happy said...

Its lovely there isn't it. So peaceful.