The country’s century-old tradition of birdkeeping is itself an endangered species, and its continuing survival is reliant on a small group of enthusiastic maintainers. However, if – and when – birdkeeping ultimately disappears from Singapore, the city could be losing a lot more than just a pastime.
Hundreds of magnificent cages hang from tall poles in an open area north of downtown Singapore, swaying gently in the wind. An assortment of chirping birds is kept in the cages, while their owners mill around at ground level, sipping tea and chatting.
This is the Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club. Its members meet every Sunday in Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West to practice a dying Singaporean custom.
kebun baru bird singing club
Although the Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club’s vast parkland layout is one-of-a-kind, it isn’t the only organization still practising the craft. “There are numerous tiny bird shows dotted around the country,” Robin Chua adds. Many species of birds may be managed effectively. However, there are exceptions to the rule and some songbirds are susceptible to a variety of agents. These can be found in the basement of a block of public flats, or on the ground with only a few cages hung from the roof. They are generally located on the ground floor of a block of public flats or a little building on the grounds for hanging just a few cages. These are referred to as ‘bird corners’ locally.
Bird singing corner In Singapore Tradition
Although the prospect of Singaporean bird-keeping dying out appears bleak, there is still hope. On certain days, Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club members may be observed taking their children or grandchildren around the park.
“We do have serious hobbyists in their 20s and 30s,” Robin Chua points out. “People younger than this are typically interested in the father or grandfather’s pastime.”
In the distance, Singapore’s intimidating skyline rises at an increasing rate. However, the birds continue to sing their communal songs.
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