You first taste the sambal, the saltiness and then slowly recognize a tint of spiciness along with the taste of the nuts, all wonderfully mixed complimenting the different tastes. A cone of Kacang Dal. Acone which the Kacang Putih Man folded quickly with a piece of recycled paper. The variety of flavours that the Kacang Putih Men sell were once blessed upon Singaporeans along many streets, void decks and cinemas back then. Now, they are only ingrained in the memories of many Singaporeans as the ‘Good Old Days’.
There are many others that contribute to the good times in the olden days of Singapore; the kampung, the candies and so on. The Kacang Putih Man is also one of them. Singaporeans used to see them in a lot of places, before commuting...
When asked what they remember about the Kacang Putih Man most, some answered how they see them while they travel from one venue to another. The Kacang Putih Man walks from void deck to void decks, cinema to cinemas, carrying a tray full of different flavours of peanuts with a wooden stand folded and placed on their shoulders.
Once they decide to park and start selling, they will prepare their wooden stand and start selling. This amazingly is a routine seen by many and felt like it was part of their lives to witness it unlike now. However majority Kacang Putih Men now prefer using push carts or bicycles to set up their kacang putih...
They would relate to buying from them and seeing them in a lot of places to their childhood days, reminiscing.
“I used to buy kacang putih when the mama stops at the void deck or whenever there is a wedding. The mama will stop near the wedding and then a lot of people will come and buy,” said Ms Julie, 45, a factory worker. She chuckled to herself as she added, “We would always notice that the same mama will come every weekend,”.
Like the other forgotten trades such as the cobblers, Kachang Putih is also facing a threat and they would gradually disappear as the business for kacang putih would decrease in demand in Singapore. Kacang Putih Man would not even be recognized by the future generations of Singapore.
However, there is still hope for now. One active traditional Kacang Putih Man is Mr Nagappan Arumugam, who can be found directly in front of Peace Center at Sophia Road. Mr Arumugam has been a Kacang Putih Man for 40 years but has been working at Peace Center for 30 years. He works from 11 am to 8...
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