Remembering childhood in Singapore (part 3)

Xavier Lur
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Do you miss the times when you sat on the sofa for hours watching Sesame Street, and listening to the iconic Elmo song? Or the days when you enjoyed a mug of A&W vanilla float as you listened to Michael Jackson's Thriller song?

If any of these seems familiar, you are probably a Singaporean who had your childhood in the 80s or early 90s.

Yahoo! Singapore has collaborated with Remember Singapore to come up with a compilation of some of the things you would have probably encountered, played, watched, ate or read during your childhood. Enjoy!

Sesame Street

Sesame Street

(Screengrab from YouTube)

An American children television series, Sesame Street has found its way to many countries in the world, including Singapore. Many of its muppets, created by Jim Henson, were children's favorite TV characters. The popular muppets include Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Ernie and Bert, and many more.

Don't Worry Be Happy

Don't worry be happy

(Screengrab from YouTube)

One of the first and longest running Chinese sitcom in Mediacorp's history, the drama serial had a total of six seasons spanning from 1996-2002, and starred local heavyweights Chew Chor Meng (Ah Bee), Lynn Poh, and May Phua.

Good Morning, Sir! (Aiyoyo Lao Shi)

Aiyoyo Lao Shi

(Screengrab from YouTube)

The Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) television serial featured Chen Liping, who acted in the role as "Miss Ai-Yo-Yo", which earned the actress the "Most Unforgettable TV Character" Award for that role in Star Awards 2003.

English pop

English pop

(Photo courtesy of walkdest)

The eighties and nineties saw the rise of Michael Jackson as he released three successful albums in Thriller (1982), Bad (1987) and Dangerous (1991). His music videos of Beat It and Billie Jean sparked the MTV industry, which further cemented his 'King of Pop' status.

Madonna debuted in 1982 and released many hits in Like a Virgin, Material Girl and La Isla Bonita from 1984 to 1987. Other popular artistes included the likes of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Belinda Carlisle, Pet Shop Boys, George Michael and Roxette.

Video and cassette tapes

Video tapes

(Photo courtesy of Reto Kurman)

Cassette tapes

(Photo courtesy of JennaMoser)

The first VCR (Videocassette Recorder) was launched to the mass market in 1971. By the late eighties, they became reasonably affordable for a consumer to rent and watch a film in the comfort of his home. He could even schedule his video player to do a record of a TV programme at a later timing. By the late nineties, video tapes became endangered species as VCSs (Video Compact Discs) and DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs) made their way into the video playing and recording industry.

Similarly for cassette tapes, it allows users to playback music or sound recordings that is recorded on the tape itself.

Ice Ball

Ice ball

(Photo courtesy of Belinda Tan)

Ice balls are finely grated ice packed into a ball and topped with red- and green-coloured sugar-coated syrups. They were often sold by roadside hawkers and were typically eaten by using just the fingers or hands.

Haw Flakes

Haw Flakes

(Photo courtesy of me Hungry!)

If you are Chinese, you probably grew up with these round reddish brown sweet berry-scented wafers rolled up in bright cylinder-shaped pink wrappers. And they are often touted as a candy that helps aid digestion.

Fancy Gem Biscuits

Fancy Gem Biscuits

(Photo courtesy of skitts-skitts)

Manufactured by Singapore's old branded Khong Guan Biscuit Company, these little biscuits with sweet star-shaped coating at the top were joyful tidbits for children. And they came in various colors -- pink, yellow, green and white.

White Rabbit Creamy Candy

White Rabbit Creamy Candy

(Photo courtesy of r0sita)

Another addictive candy, each white rabbit creamy candy has a soft, chewy texture, and is wrapped in a thin edible film made of sticky rice. Its popularity here declined after the nineties, and was almost banned after being hit by the melamine contamination scandal in China in 2008.

A&W Vanilla Float Drink

Remember the good old days where you enjoyed the real draft goodness of A&W Root Beer Float, topped with creamy, delicious vanilla A&W signature soft serve?

A&W Vanilla Float Drink

(Photo courtesy of Y-Shumin)

Check out parts one and two of our series if you haven't yet.