The festive season is around the corner and it’s not just India which is soaked in celebrations. This year, the Singapore government has launched a special ‘Diwali’ theme decoration train on its North Eastern Line (NEL) which also has a ‘Little India’ Station — home to Indian origin Singaporeans.
The train features elegant motifs such as intricate rangolis, the lotus and the peacock, a symbol of good luck.
Informing about the unique initiative, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), which manages its Mass Rapid Transit system (MRT), said, “It is an effort to celebrate the Festival of Lights in a whole new illuminating way this year. We have launched our first Diwali-themed train and now people can experience the stunning decorations at Little India right inside the MRT.”
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To celebrate the occasion, LTA has collaborated with the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA) to launch the Diwali-themed train, which was launched by Singapore Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and will run run on NEL till mid-November.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Kamal Khanna from Singapore said, “Little India is a small hub here where most of the shops and establishments are owned by Singaporeans who are of Indian origin. Their ancestors migrated here decades ago. The Little India has two metro rail stations- North Eastern Line (NEL) and Downtown Line and both have been beautifully decorated by LTA to celebrate Diwali.”
Though bursting of crackers is an integral part of Diwali festivities in India, however, Singapore government has completely banned crackers to curb air and sound pollution. “There is strict enforcement of the ban and we cannot burst crackers here. We appreciate this step to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali,” he added.
“Every year, new decorations adorn Singapore during Diwali especially at Little India but the special themed trains have been launched for the first time,” said Khanna.
Natarajan Swaminathan, working in Singapore since almost 20 years, told The Indian Express over the phone, “It is great to see such importance being given to an Indian festival and culture by the Singapore government. This year it feels good to see something different as compared to previous years.”