31 October 2009

Christmas in October

On 25 October - two months to the day before Christmas - I returned from a weekend away to find workers putting up Christmas decorations over Orchard Road. It is now Halloween, and the decorations are fully in place, not only on Orchard but in the department stores. We are even seeing Christmas trees go up. In October!

Rumor is that this is in part for the APEC summit, to be held in Singapore in November (President Obama will attend). I think it is a manifestation of Singapore's kiasu mentality - must be first in everything. It is a bit odd, because we are only halfway through the Deepavali month (Little India is a beautiful sight at nighttime during the month), and it seems to go against Singapore's official policy of racial and religious harmony. I suppose the Christmas decorations on Orchard and in the department stores are more commercial in nature, however, so no harm done.

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