Though Singapore’s multiculturalism is widely recognised, we may not see clear acknowledgement of it in our daily lives. That is, until someone shared this photo of several signs outside a bike shop in Hougang.
A Redditor spotted the amusing sight and shared it yesterday (2 Feb).
Accompanying the post with the caption, “Multi-cultural society”, the photo awakened a strong sense of Singapore pride among netizens.
Safe distancing is such an important rule in the pandemic that shops have been putting up signs to remind customers.
Majority are in English, the universal language many of us communicate in. At most, they’d include the major Mother Tongues like Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.
But the owner of Alliance Bike Shop in Hougang went the extra mile to include 7 other languages, some of which few of us know well.
Among the other languages were:
Fascinated by the signs, netizens familiar with the languages scrutinised them for accuracy.
While one would think that the fastest way is to consult Google Translate, the shop owner appeared not to have taken that route.
We may not be able to verify all of them ourselves, but Redditors familiar with some of the languages took to the comments to highlight their accuracy.
One noted how the handwritings differ in each poster, and that the “Malayalam one is really spot on.”
Another added that the “Korean one is pretty spot on too, definitely not by Google Translate”.
With multiple languages verified, we can safely say that they all send the same message, which is to not crowd the front of the shop.
The various languages impressed many netizens, who expressed their pride in living in such a multicultural society like Singapore, where heartwarming gestures like these can happen.
If you’re intrigued as to how the translations can be so on point, here’s the scoop.
The Alliance Bike Shop owner told MS News that the signs were handwritten by customers of various nationalities while they were waiting for their bikes to be repaired or serviced there.
He gives all the credit to them for helping to make the shop, and therefore the community, more welcoming to all.
The Redditor shared with MS News that the signs seemed to have been there for several months. Indeed, a picture from June 2020 on Google Maps corroborates that.
That they’ve been around for a while proves that the shop owner put a lot of thought and effort into them early on.
If you’d like to check the signs out for yourselves, you may visit the shop here:
Alliance Bike Shop
Address: Blk 327 #01-174, Hougang Ave 5, 530327
Mon & Tues, Thur & Fri: 4pm – 8pm
Wed: 5pm – 9pm
Sat: 2pm – 8pm
Sun: 2pm – 6pm
Nearest MRT: Hougang Station
Of course, remember to keep a safe distance away from the next person while marvelling at the signs. And why not check out what the shop has to offer while you’re at it?
The shop owner’s effort to ensure all customers heed the important advisory is certainly worth much praise and commendation.
Kudos to him for being inclusive, and considerate of people’s possible needs.
Hopefully we’ll see more of such inclusivity and consideration from Singaporeans, as we try to foster a more compassionate society.
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Featured image adapted from Reddit.
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