Superhero hawkers encourage youth to join the trade

A photo exhibition opening tomorrow (Jan 19) at the Tiong Bahru market shows eight young hawkers dressed up as superheroes, wielding baguettes and fried chicken to keep the hawker tradition alive.

The exhibition is part of a Youth Hawkerprise campaign, which is the final year project of four communication studies students - Ms Eunice Chew, Mr Mark Cheng, Ms Wendy Aw and Ms Hazel Tan - from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University.

The students, aged 22 to 24, first got the idea for their campaign in 2011 when Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan announced that 10 more hawker centres would be built over the next decade.

Ms Tan, 24, says: "All four of us are passionate foodies and proud Singaporeans. When we heard about the plan to build 10 new hawker centres, we thought that there are so few youths, our peers, who want to join the hawker trade. How can we continue the hawker tradition if nobody takes it up?"

The campaign will also include a half-day workshop next Saturday, where aspiring young hawkers can hear from National Environment Agency officers and also, straight from the hawkers' mouth as they share their experiences.

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