Social diversity on a tiny island

The Wei To Temple complex is the largest religious site on Pulau Ubin. It is home to a Tibetan temple (above), a Taoist temple and a newly established Hindu shrine (left). The Taoist temple was established after a large piece of rock crashed into the
The Wei To Temple complex is the largest religious site on Pulau Ubin. It is home to a Tibetan temple (above), a Taoist temple and a newly established Hindu shrine.PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The Wei To Temple complex is the largest religious site on Pulau Ubin. It is home to a Tibetan temple (above), a Taoist temple and a newly established Hindu shrine (left). The Taoist temple was established after a large piece of rock crashed into the
The Wei To Temple complex is the largest religious site on Pulau Ubin. It is home to a Tibetan temple, a Taoist temple and a newly established Hindu shrine (above).
The Wei To Temple complex is the largest religious site on Pulau Ubin. It is home to a Tibetan temple (above), a Taoist temple and a newly established Hindu shrine (left). The Taoist temple was established after a large piece of rock crashed into the
The Taoist temple was established after a large piece of rock crashed into the home of Madam Ong Siew Fong (above), 72, following an explosion at a granite quarry about 20 years ago. No one was injured and the rock subsequently became an object of worship for Madam Ong and her family.
The Wei To Temple complex is the largest religious site on Pulau Ubin. It is home to a Tibetan temple (above), a Taoist temple and a newly established Hindu shrine (left). The Taoist temple was established after a large piece of rock crashed into the
A forested route that is home to poisonous snakes and wild boar leads to a mangrove swamp that Mr Quek Kim Kiang frequents to catch crabs. Using a hook attached to a pole, the 63-year-old fishes out the crustaceans from the mud. He then sells them on the island to families for about $25 a kg.

A study of Pulau Ubin commissioned by the National Heritage Board and led by anthropologist Vivienne Wee has uncovered multiple layers of social history, religious practices and economic activity through interviews with islanders. The project, which started in April, is expected to be completed by January next year. It is one of the board's contributions to an ongoing Ubin Project led by the Ministry of National Development to preserve the island's nature, biodiversity and heritage. Melody Zaccheus looks at some of the findings so far.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2015, with the headline 'Social diversity on a tiny island'. Print Edition | Subscribe