There’s a wealth of history behind Singapore’s street names, as documented in ‘The Story Behind Singapore Streets’ exhibition at the National Library, which features historical images of different areas of town juxtaposed with how the same streets look today
First published on 11 Jun 2012. Updated on 11 Jun 2012.
Above: View of Chulia Street, 1982
This image from 1982 shows Chulia Street, which connects South Canal Road and Battery Road in the CBD area near the mouth of the Singapore River. As explained in the exhibition, the name ‘Chulia’ comes from Chulia Kampong, one of several ethnic enclaves drawn up by Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore’s first urban town plan in 1822. Originally planned for early Indian migrants, Chulia Kampong didn’t flourish as much as areas like Kampong Glam and what’s now Little India, which proved more popular for working at brick kilns and in cattle trading – but the name lives on through the street.
'The Story Behind Singapore Streets' is at the National Library, Level 7 & 8 until 29 Jun.