This year, Singapore prepares to celebrate its 55th independence in a way that’s never been done before. While discussing plans for the weekend, a colleague of mine happened to mention something about her neighbours. “Usual kampung spirit,” she said of the fact that her family and her Indian neighbours regularly share food. If you’re from Singapore, you probably know what this is.
What is Kampung Spirit?
Kampong is a Malay word that means rural village. They were common back in the day when many families lived in small communities. What initially began as a survival method grew into a movement that would remain with the nation forever. While actual kampungs don’t exist anymore, its spirit lives on. By redefining it to fit the growing modern environment, the city-state often advocates its focus on a community based on empathy, kindness, and unity. And despite the many struggles, the Circuit Breaker period showed the country’s resilience and in true nature, the kampung spirit.
The world generally lauds big actions, but Singapore has proven that small acts make a difference too. Yes, even sharing a measly cup of sugar will do the trick. The focus isn’t praise. It’s actively participating in the betterment of society by bridging the gap between race, age and gender through kindness. And these tough times showed the need for community-led initiatives.
Here are a few small ways you can help spread the kampung spirit:
- Get to know your neighbours,
- Help your neighbours/community water their gardens,
- Offer a helping hand when you see them in need, like carrying their grocery bags,
- Smile and indulge in polite conversation when you come across them in lifts,
- Share your favourite food with your neighbour.
The list can go on. We need to find ways that work for us. Food is a great way to bring together people and we, at Esseplore, strongly believe in the power of community because food always tastes best when shared. We encourage you to gift a meal to someone today. Whether it’s your neighbour, relative or friend – embrace this year’s festivities by celebrating the kampung spirit.
Check out our celebratory Feastboxes on esseplore.cooking/collections/sg55 and share the kampung spirit today.
Happy National Day, Singapore!