Singapore a special melting pot, says Bulgarian who took viral photo of kids on Hari Raya train

Mr Nikolay Petrov, a 32-year-old entrepreneur at a tech start-up, took this viral photo at 9.17pm on June 22 at Outram Park MRT Station.
Mr Nikolay Petrov, a 32-year-old entrepreneur at a tech start-up, took this viral photo at 9.17pm on June 22 at Outram Park MRT Station.PHOTO: NIKOLAY PETROV
 Another photo Mr Petrov took at 9.13pm on June 22, moments before he took the one that went viral.
Another photo Mr Petrov took at 9.13pm on June 22, moments before he took the one that went viral.PHOTO: NIKOLAY PETROV

SINGAPORE - The person behind a viral photo of children sitting on a Hari Raya-themed train is a foreigner who has been working in Singapore for a year and a half.

Mr Nikolay Petrov, a 32-year-old entrepreneur at a tech start-up, told The Straits Times that Singapore is "a special melting pot for different cultures, races, religions".

The photo he had taken was uploaded on Facebook by his friend and colleague Eugene Goh Mu Gen.

Mr Petrov, who is from Bulgaria, was travelling from HarbourFront station on the North-East Line and was at Outram station when he took the photo.

It now has more than 2,300 likes and 1,200 shares.

Netizens marvelled at the "kampung" or homely spirit that was displayed in the photo, with different children joining each other in sitting on the cabin floor.

When he first entered the train, the area was empty, Mr Petrov said on Facebook.

"I wanted to take a photo of the interesting floor decoration," he said. But a moment later, "several families with kids entered that section of the train and the kids casually just sat on the floor within a few seconds".

Mr Petrov told ST that Singapore was a good example of how a country reacts when faced with globalisation.

 

"I am particularly excited about discovering those things in us that make us human, as opposed to those that define us as citizens of a country," he said. "In contrast to what happens now in many places throughout the world when faced with globalisation, here I see various good examples of differences combining into strengths."

Mr Petrov has been to about 20 countries and lived in six - Bulgaria, Singapore, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

He shared with ST another photo he had taken, moments before the viral one was shot.

The train was one of two Hari Raya-themed trains launched on Thursday (June 22). The other one was launched on the East-West and North-South Line.

The cabins are decorated with ketupat and festive light decals and traditional motifs.

Some carriages, like the one that Mr Petrov captured, are done up to resemble homes with couches and other furniture.