Geylang Serai Bazaar 2019: More Traditional Food, Less “Hipster” Trends

With Ramadan just around the corner, it’s cue for the annual Geylang Serai Bazaar to make its highly-anticipated return and amp up the festive vibes. This yearly affair has been a fixture every fasting month for the last 40 years, attracting Singaporeans of various ethnicities.

Image credit: Kirk Siang

After last year’s halal food controversy that didn’t sit well with the Muslim population, this year’s instalment will ensure that all food sold are strictly halal (not just no pork, no lard). Organisers will ensure that all food stalls fulfil any one of these criteria to be suitable for consumption: Muslim-owned, MUIS halal-certified and approved by halal consultants engaged by the organisers. Consultants will also conduct frequent checks to ensure that the stalls comply with the halal requirements for the entire duration of the mega event.

Another key change this year revolves around the type of food that will be sold. Since 2017, the “hipsterfication” of the bazaar had seen food prices skyrocket. Food items that were sold also catered more to the younger crowd and traditional classics were not as common. They were more social media-driven and for social media platforms like Instagram.

Image credit: Choo Yut Sing

Slated to run from 3 May to 5 June this year, the bazaar will be fully coordinated by Wisma Geylang Serai and rest assured, traditional elements will be reinstated to bring back the nostalgia. The bazaar will also be organised more thematically with designated sections to cater to different groups of people.

Image credit: Jnzl’s Photos

About 60% of the food stalls must sell traditional Malay delicacies while the remaining 40% can sell “contemporary” types of food. 80% of the non-food stalls must also sell goods related to the festive season while the rest can offer other lifestyle items. There will be fewer stalls (about 500 to be exact) but this implies more space for dining areas and walkways. No more strollers rolling over your feet!

Rental costs will also decrease this year due to complaints from previous years that saw prices shoot up to S$20,000. The rental cost will be capped at S$14,000 and will translate to cheaper prices of goods.

Let’s hope that the changes this year will lead to a more enjoyable and memorable experience for all. It’s high time to bring back the good ol’ days.

Also read: 8 Halal Takeaways in Singapore That’ll Make You Want to Stay Home

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