As the covid outbreak has led to a ban on international travel for Singaporeans since mid March 2020, weekends are spent visiting local attractions, many of which I last visited as a student or teenager. Little India is a bustling, colourful business community that stirs around midday and becomes busier and more crowded with each hour. It is a community of shophouses centred along Serangoon Road, offering a slice of Indian culture in cosmopolitan Singapore.
A walk along Serangoon Road (or even a drive through it), is a feast for the senses, with vendors selling everything under the sun (practically all imported and not just from India) from exotic spices, sarees, fabric by the metre, accessories from solid gold jewellery to plastic baubles and great local food, with thosai, roti, biryani being popular choices, as well as non Indian options such as chicken rice, hot dogs and kebab/satay. Weekday evening is a good time to visit if you plan to explore the area on foot and pick up some souvenirs, especially during Deepavali (usually in November) when Serangoon Road is decked out in fairy lights for the festival.
With the Indian diaspora growing daily over the past decade, enterprising merchants of are importing more ethnic products and seasonal merchandise for a ready market. Today, even Indian festivals hitherto unknown among non Indians and hardly observed by the indigenous Indians in Singapore, such as Pongal, or winter harvest festival (in January) sees Serangoon Road all lit up for six weeks to spread cheer, attract more visitors and drum up sales.