Neighbourliness and kampung spirit revived over durian feast

More than 350 people turned up at Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green community centre on Sunday evening to partake in a durian feast. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
More than 350 people turned up at Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green community centre on Sunday evening to partake in a durian feast. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

SINGAPORE - Neighbourliness and the kampung spirit were not only felt by visitors to Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre on Sunday evening, they could be smelled from a distance too.

As the sun set, some 350 people sitting cross-legged on picnic mats warmed up to each other over a feast of durians.

Dozens of thorny husks were cracked open to reveal rows of the creamy flesh, which were then passed around for everyone's enjoyment.

Digging into the inner yellows of the Mao Shan Wang and D24 durians - species of the fruit known to be especially aromatic - the participants bonded over their common love for the fruit, laughter and conversation.

About one tonne of durians were prepared for the four-hour event, called the Durian Mobilisation 2014.  

The event was organised to give participants the chance to socialise over durians, and get a taste of the kampung spirit that thrived in old Singapore.

Diners are also encouraged to use the hashtag #letsmakan on social media to record their experiences with the king of fruits.

Participants pay $38 to take part. The fee entitles them to about 2 to 3kg of the fruit.

A portion of the proceeds will be used to cover the cost of the durians, with the rest being channelled to Goducate, which provides education for underprivileged youth, and the Prison Fellowship.

It was co-organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement and Dr Leslie Tay, a food blogger who runs the website ieatishootipost.sg.

This year is the second time that the Durian Mobilisation event is being held.

Although Dr Tay has been organising durian picnics since 2008, his tie-up with the Singapore Kindness Movement kicked off for the first time in 2013 with 300 diners.

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