My plan that day was to visit the major landmark in the area, the Sultan Mosque, and explore the surrounding area of Kampong Glam. It was another sensory overload kind of experience, that I never get tired of in Singapore. I got off my taxi one lane away from the mosque, and I passed many traditional business, selling carpets, textiles, and the widest selection of colourful cushion covers I’ve ever seen.
Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) on Muscat Street is one of the most important mosque in Singapore. The mosque is open for visitors, so I went in. Like the Buddhist temple I visited recently, the mosque has a conservative dress code. If you are not dressed appropriately you need to wear some kind of cloak if you want to enter, and cloaks are available free of charge. Ok. I had to wear a cloak to enter that day. And, no, we are not going to talk about communal cloak again. I feel itchy just to think about it…
I believe this was my first time in a mosque, despite being born, grew up, and lived in Indonesia the first decades of my life. It was quiet inside the mosque, I was not there in any of the time of praying, and it was not a Friday. I enjoyed looking around, noticing all the intricate details, and feeling how airy it was inside. The visit to the Buddhist temple was still fresh in my mind, so it was interesting to see symbols and colours that were influenced by a totally different cultures and religious. They were so different, and yet equally powerful.
Here are images of the building and its surrounding.
The look from inside the mosque:
Half a block away from the mosque would take you to the Malay Heritage Centre. The centre was a total contrast to its surrounding. From the colourful shops, the loud noise, and variety of smell I passed, suddenly it was ‘quiet’. There was a big (clean and new-ish) yellow building in front of me, surrounded by a neatly mowed lawn and very well-trimmed trees, not a branch went astray, all around. It all looked almost sterile compare to the surrounding area. I did not remember the reason why now, but I decided not to go in the centre and continued on walking.
See you in part 2.