Extracts of a travel notebook

By Nold Egenter

- Illustrations -

The content of the following paper is nearly 25 years old. It was planned to publish it in some journal of Japanology or Indology. For various reasons it remained in the archives. At those early times when the Hindu temples in Singapore were studied it had an important meaning for the author: it opened the view on the existence of 'semantic architecture' in India. Since some studies were done now in India, the present paper gains a new actuality. This is the main reason why it opens the following series of studies related to India.

The factual situation in Singapore may have changed considerably. Visits to the city during later stopovers became more and more deceiving. The atmosphere had changed completely. Traditional districts like Chinatown were torn down. Many an acquaintance with whom the author had spent marvellous festival times in the small lanes between the traditional Chinese houses had become desperate and sad. Many complained that the strong social ties of the ancient families were torn apart with the new urban planning adapted to the 'free market'! "The architects and planners who did all this to us, had no ideas about our culture! Pure ignorance!" many of them said. Therefore, later, Singapore was never visited again. Maybe a reader will find out whether these pillars still exist.

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