World

Singapore Memory Project

Updated 8:37 AM ET, Sat September 22, 2012
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Singapore is calling on all its residents to share their memories as the island nation approaches its 50th anniversary of independence. Thousands of residents have uploaded photos, videos, even e-books, documenting their life in the culturally rich city-state. So far, more than 400,000 memories have been collected. Singapore Memory Project
Singapore's Rochor Centre is an eye-catching feature of the island nation's skyline. It is also the center of many memories submitted to the Singapore Memory Project. "What struck me the most was the sense of family," said Ruth Ann Keh, 17, a project volunteer. "All the people I talked to mentioned the bond. Now you don't know your neighbors." The Rochor Centre is slated to be torn down in 2016 to make way for a new expressway. Ruth Ann Keh/Singapore Memory Project
Dr. George Khoo, 84, started practicing medicine at Singapore's Rochor Centre shortly after it was built in 1977. When the buildings were contructed, Khoo said he treated addicts at nearby opium dens because they could not make it to his clinic. "It was hard treating them in the pitch darkness of the opium dens," Khoo recalled. "I had to call out their names and they would call out to me ... but I never really knew for sure who exactly I was treating." Khoo says he and his colleagues are still looking for a suitable location to move before the Rochor complex is torn down. "I will miss Rochor when it goes," he said. Hamzah Yaacor/Singapore Memory Project
Other memories are more personal. In this image, a little girl shows off her ability to hold a small bird along the "Pet Walk" in Serangoon North, an apartment cluster in the north-central part of Singapore that is often crowded with pet enthusiasts. Singapore Memory Project/Ho Wai Kit
A view of Singapore's waterfront district in 1970, compared with the way it looks today. Singapore Memory Project/Choo Hai Boon/David Gurien, CNN
The Singapore Memory Project also commissioned what it calls "Drawn from Memory" works that include "comic adaptations of some of the most nostalgic and emotive aspects of life in Singapore." Koh Hong Teng and Dave Chua submitted a comic book called "The Cut," showing life in a kampung, or village. This cover art by Teng shows what his life was like in Kampung Chai Chee, where he lived with many relatives in the early 1970s. Koh Hong Teng/Dave Chua/Windmill Studios/Singapore Memory Project
This image shows the traditional method of making soy sauce at Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory, which was founded 60 years ago by Woo Hoh, an entrepreneur from southern China. Today, the factory is run by Woo's children, who still produce traditional soy (or soya) sauce, which despite minimal advertising is very popular in Singapore and around the world. Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory/Singapore Memory Project
Hamzah Yaacor, 17, is one of several students helping aggregate the stories sent in to Singapore Memory Project. Yaacore has put together a small book of interviews, called "Streets We Remember." He says he has learned more about his country from his conversations with Singapore's older residents than he has in his history lessons in school.