3 Things to do

Stay in and help fight Covid-19. The Straits Times' Toh Wen Li recommends fun, uplifting things today

Works by Griselda Gabriele and Jerome Lau depict idli (top) and lontong (above) respectively.

1. WATCH: Stream indie movies online

Chase the Covid-19 blues away with critically acclaimed films on indie cinema The Projector's streaming platform, as well as at the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival, which returns as a wholly virtual event this year.

On The Projector's website, take your pick from films such as Anthony Chen's Wet Season (2019), which explores the relationship between a teacher and her student; Capernaum (2018), in which a Lebanese boy sues his parents for giving birth to him; and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019), a French historical drama about a love affair between an aristocrat and the woman commissioned to paint her.

All movies are priced at $10 for a 48-hour viewing window.

The Singapore Mental Health Film Festival will feature panel discussions, workshops and an assortment of movies you can stream online till May 30.

These include Happiness (2016), a Hong Kong film about a young man who cares for a woman with cognitive impairment; and Sorry We Missed You (2019), an intimate drama about a British family struggling in the gig economy.

A single virtual pass costs $12 and allows you to view a feature film and a short film for 48 hours upon activation. It also gives you access to a live panel discussion.

Info: and

2. LISTEN: Radio hits around the world


When I visit a new country, I like to tune in to the local radio station. I recently learnt about an app, Radio Garden, that lets people surf thousands of these channels from around the world without leaving home.

You can "travel" to Rio de Janeiro on the airwaves of Bossa Nova Brazil; imagine yourself in the Mediterranean with Greek folk music channel 78kai45; and revisit theme songs from your favourite K-dramas at Aewen Radio.

There are also more offbeat channels such as London's Birdsong Radio and New York's Payphone Radio, in which you can listen to recordings of phone calls from New York City payphones.

Singapore's own radio hits of yesteryear can be found online in the National Library Board's (NLB) MusicSG archives.

There, you can discover a trove of music by artistes from the 1950s to present day, such as Mandarin Talentime winner Yue Lei, 1960s band The Quests and Zaleha Hamid, the Queen of Dangdut (a style of Indonesian dance music). About 750 tracks are available for full-length streaming from home.

Also, check out NLB's podcast, Radio DDC, which features four episodes on Singapore's musical theatre, film songs, indie music and campaign jingles.

You can search for Singapore artistes in the online Naxos Music Library. NLB patrons can log in with their myLibrary ID account.

Highlights range from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's recording of Balakirev's Chopin Suite/Overtures to albums by pianist Margaret Leng Tan and composer Phoon Yew Tien.

Info:, NLB (, Spotify (

3. READ: Local poetry

Works by Griselda Gabriele and Jerome Lau depict idli (above) and lontong respectively. 

Local Flavours, a quirky website inspired by food delivery platforms, is a smorgasbord of works by about 30 Singapore-based poets and illustrators.

Choose from a "menu" of poems by writers such as Zulfadli Rashid, Gwee Li Sui and Tse Hao Guang, who reference local dishes such as chicken rice, garam assam and idli.

The poems are accompanied by illustrations by various artists, including Jerome Lau, Griselda Gabriele and Mithra Jeevananthan.

Works by Griselda Gabriele and Jerome Lau depict idli and lontong (above) respectively. 

Also, check out recipes and pieces of food writing, as well as a list of titles for further food-related reading.

The website is produced by digital storytelling studio Tusitala and is part of this year's Singapore HeritageFest.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2021, with the headline '3 Things to do'. Subscribe