Singapore is a land of myths and legends, including the popular myth of how the city was named as Singapora or the "City of Lion."
1.Singapura:Sang Nila Utama, the king of Sumatra (Indonesia) first discovered the Island nation in around AD1297. He found this white sandy beach interesting and decided to get down here near Telok Blangah. Suddenly a lion like beast appeared and it was considered to be an auspicious symbol. The king named the Island city as "Singapora" (The City of Lion) and ruled here till his death. His burial ground is still at Fort Canning Hill, Singapore.
2.Pulau Ubin:This is also a popular myth about the formation of island of Pulau Ubin. Once upon a time an elephant, a pig and a frog decided to conduct a race from mainland Singapore to Johor shores, failing which they would turn into rock. All these creatures failed and turned to rock to form the Island of Pulau Ubin.
3.Pulau Blakang Mati : Pulau is island and Blakang Mati is “behind the dead” in Malay. It was the former name of modern Sentosa Island. Senotsa was considered to be haunted and a burial ground of Malay warriors. It was also thought to be haunted by the murdered people by the pirates. But in 1972, the island was renamed as Sentosa and these negative stories came to their natural end, as the island emerged as the tourist hotspot.
4. Kusu Island: This is the story of friendship, spirituality and blessings. According to the story, in the 19th century an Arab and his Chinese came to Kusu Island and became friends. The Arab was Syed Rahman and Chinese was named as Yam. Yam fell ill and there was no food available on island. Syed Rahman prayed for his well being and soon a boat emerged with food supply. Chinese guy Yum got a new life and kept visiting the island long after this episode.
5.Sisters’ Islands: It is a story of two sisters Minah and Linah, who loved at the southern coast of Singapore and wanted to stay together all their lives by marrying brothers. Linah was captured by pirates at the sea one day and in the mourning the other sister dived into the sea and died. Linah too dived the next day from pirates' ship and next day the pair of islands emerged, which was named as sisters' island by the locals.
6.Redhill and Tanjong Pagar: This is the story of jealousy and vengeance. Once upon a time the island fisherman were used to be attacked by fearsome swordfish. They wanted help from Sultan but he didn't. Soon after a boy barricaded the beach with banana trunks. His trick worked and it led him to popularity but it invited the ire of the Sultan and in turn he killed the boy. The blood spilled over the hill and it became red.
8.Selegie: In Malay Selegie means sharpened wooden spear and the legend associated with it also related to a fierce battle.
9.Merlion: It is a story of a Tsunami like situation in the island. The villagers prayered and their prayers were answered by God immediately. A huge beast like creature appeared and the sea subsided the next morning.
10.Badang and the Singapore Stone :It's also a folklore related to a fisherman Badang, who was granted a wish of becoming the strongest person on earth. He had a fight with another strong man from India named Bijaya and threw the rock into the Singapore river. The rock is still present in Singapore history museum.
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