The kampung spirit. It’s something you might have heard your parents or somebody elderly wistfully talking about. It’s not a supernatural phenomena (although there are lots of spirits in kampungs) but rather, a sense of family and camaraderie between one neighbour and another , strangers turned friends who regard each other as dear family members and who would help each other through thick and thin.
Nowadays, HDB housing has made seeing our neighbours a rarity. The one times one sees them are probably when you’re in the lift or in the common corridors. I’ve lived in my flat for more than 3 years now, but only seen my next door neighbour less than a handful of times.
Fortunately, some people are luckier (or unluckier depending on your outlook), and they’ve made friends and created a strong rapport with their neighbours. Just like this amusing and heartwarming anecdote shared by Facebook user Petrina Ng about a certain elderly Chinese couple.
Petrina relates that she heard the couple arguing with each other whether certain chocolates were Halal, as they were meant to be gifts for a Muslim family. Uncertain, they got the help of a nearby guy who was glad to help them pick up a suitable selection.
Now, it’s rather common knowledge that pretty much all chocolates in major supermarkets are Halal. Unless you go to boutique shops, it’s safe to say you can randomly grab any chocolate off a shelf of an NTUC and have no issues.
What’s great about this is that the couple considered their neighbour’s religion instead of just buying the first thing their eyes saw.
It might be a relatively small gesture, but it’s definitely appreciated and heartwarming to see. It also shows us that the kampung spirit isn’t dead in Singapore. At least not while there are still people like the elderly couple around.