Grass Day OutBy Migrant Voices
With migrant workers enjoying their day off
Lembu Road, Singapore
Lembu Road is a unique spot in Little India where many migrant workers from Bangladesh hang out. The open space is tucked away off Syed Alwi Road and easily undertaken by the commonly crowded shopping mall, Mustafa Centre. Many Bangladeshi workers, who come here to remind them of home, trigger nostalgic moments or catch up with fellow friends from the same village. The cultural food and retail outlets selling vegetables and meat, remind them of the larger market places available in Bangladesh become the centre of dynamic engagement in their community, social and public life.
Organised by volunteers of Migrant Voices, the programme is an outreach project to integrate Singaporeans and PRs to migrant communities. Using raw art materials, we become in tuned with their stories of village life and social life. Stories of loved ones, weather conditions and environmental happenings such as the mango season start to unfold. The symbols of Bangladesh appear in the forms of national flags, memorials and flowers speaking metaphorically of a land filled with historical significance. Volunteers learn a word or two in Bengali, exchange greetings and ask questions. Raising curiosities and gaining knowledge of working migrants who are not only construction workers, shipyard workers, cleaners or electricians to us who caught sight of the silent voices in our neighbourhoods, the project is a two-way exchange for migrants and non-migrants to feel safe in artful expression.
“When asked about why the women tearing in the image, he shook his head and smiled. His gaze shifted from me, his eyes downcast. He took a moment and looked up at me once again and said it is not important.”
- Sha Najak, Volunteer