Text by Anja Musek
Photographs by: Benjamin Vozzo
Kampong spirit is neighborly concern for one another: kampong is a Malay word that means “village” and kampong spirit is how closely knit group of people who live in an enclosure – a neighborhood – look out for one another.
There were many conversations about the kampong spirit. This recognition of the need for social capital and the importance of social networks was an eye-opening talking point of Jane’s Walk this year.
Throughout Jane’s Walk weekend, there were many animated conversations – from the funny and mundane to the deep and sometimes disturbing. It was a particular joy to be part of this, to have a voice in the discussion and to keep an open mind to the different voices and viewpoints of others.
When asked about Jane’s Walk, Chua Ai Lin, walk participant and president of the Singapore Heritage Society said, “I realized there is a lot of knowledge in the community that people want to share and that many people are interested to learn from. The diverse and particular – possibly also idiosyncratic – perspectives are refreshing because they take us beyond clichés and generalizations that outsiders to a place may have.”
I think that’s a good thing. Jane Jacobs would approve.