Bring back authentic S'pore culture

While it is a sad turn of events, it should not come as a surprise that people find Orchard Road boring (Orchard Road is 'kind of boring'; April 16).

It may not be a bad thing to preserve and cherish pure and authentic culture, food, attire and activities.

Do we need an overpriced Orchard Road that feels less Singaporean?

I suggest that we introduce several things to the area for Singaporeans to enjoy.

•If Orchard Road is to be vehicle-free, trishaws would be most welcomed by families with young children and elderly.

The trishaw riders do not need to don luminous uniforms but can wear comfortable white singlets and straw hats, and drape "Good morning" brand towels around their necks.

•Various wayang, marionette and finger-puppet performances can be staged in the area's nooks and corners.

People can sit on stools outdoors under the shade of trees to enjoy the shows.

•Hawkers could sell distinctive fare such as cheng tng, kueh tutu, ice balls, noodles, putu piring, teh tarik and kacang putih.

Fusion food should not be sold, and hawkers should be free to ply the street rather than be rooted to a specific spot.

Perhaps we can recreate the hawker-style satay club, with its low stools and oil lamps.

•Stalls can be rented out that provide needed services, such as the mending of clothes and shoes.

•Have areas where small groups of people can gather unobtrusively to play games like capteh, tikam-tikam, mahjong, Chinese chess and five stones.

Orchard Road should not be just for the tourists or the young and well-heeled.

It is a road integral to our nation's history.

Ong Hui Lin (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline 'Bring back authentic S'pore culture'. Print Edition | Subscribe