The fascinating history
Known for its fascinating diversity, old shopping malls, canals and green lawns, Dhoby Ghaut has a very interesting background. In Hindi, which is the national language of India, Dhoby means washer man or laundryman and Ghaut refers to a place along the steps or banks of a river or stream. In India, laundrymen wash clothes in Ghauts and dry them on the banks of the stream. The initial Indian settlers in Singapore washed clothes in the Stamford Canal which passes through the area and the laundered clothes were dried on the expanses of green lawns along the canal. Later on, Chinese women did their laundry here until 1884, when the land was taken over and converted into Ladies Lawn Tennis Club. Although nobody washes clothes in the Stamford Canal anymore, the name has stuck to the place.
A number of developmental activities ensued in Dhoby Ghaut in the following years. The laundry area was converted into a beautiful landscaped park known as the Bras Basah Park. The most significant development which took place in the area was in 1939 in the form of the Cathay Building, the first skyscraper and air conditioned building in Singapore. The other side of the building housed a large number of small shops, most of which were cleared for road expansions. Large areas in Dhoby Ghaut have been converted into charming walkways and little parks. In the 1970s, a major public park was laid in the area. Most of the area is now under the jurisdiction of Singapore Management University, which is one of the new Universities to open in the country. The place remains green despite all the development
Places of interest in Dhoby Ghaut
Singapore Art Museum and Asians Civilization Museum are two prominent museums in Dhoby Ghaut. The art museum houses numerous kinds of visual arts pieces while the Asians civilization Museum is reminiscent of Peranakan and Chinese cultures.
Substation is another very interesting cultural venue located in the region. It is a venue for performing arts and hosts several cultural performances all through the year.
A very important landmark in Dhoby Ghaut is the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, which forms a major interchange point in the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport System.
Other features of Dhoby Ghaut
If you have a zest for shopping , you will love Dhoby Ghaut. Plaza Singapura, Park Mall and several other retail stores are present in the region. The place also houses cinemas operated by Golden Village and Picturehouse. There is no dearth of hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars in Dhoby Ghaut.
Dhoby Ghaut is a good place for people looking to buy real estate because the place is equipped with schools, supermarkets and medical facilities.
Some of his famous novels are "If We Dream Too Long", "The Immolation", "Eye Witnesses" and "Bird With One Wing". His collections of poetry "The Girl from Ermita" and "As Though the Gods Love Us" are the most famous. He has won several awards for his excellent work.
A bestselling Singapore author, Catherine Lim narrates fictional tales of Singaporean society and Chinese culture in the most profound and effective manner. Catherine Lim was bestowed the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters title by the French Government in recognition of her exemplary work in literature. Some of her famed works are "The Serpentís Tooth", "The Bondmaid" and "Following the Wrong God". Her collection of short stories include "Or Else, The Lightening Gods and Other Stories" and "O Singapore: Stories in Celebration". The most powerful work that Lim wrote, which made the president of Singapore whirl up a storm because of the strong social commentary on political issues, was "The PAP and the People: A Great Affective Divide".
The literary scene in Singapore is very rich with numerous writers who have achieved international fame and recognition. Besides the authors mentioned above, some of the most popular literary exponents of the country are Kelvin Tan, Gopal Baratham, Rex Shelley and Hwee Hwee Tan, to name a few.
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