When Singaporeans talk about saving our unique and dying hawker heritage, it’s like talking about the environment: we talk a lot but we don’t do anything. We lament the loss of hawker heritage, but we bring our families to fast food restaurants, or chain restaurants, because there is air-con. If we always bring our children to restaurants, how will they learn about our hawker heritage?
Here is something you can do to preserve our heritage: Eat at hawker centres and kopitiams. Hawkers observe the fundamental basis of economics: when there is demand, there is supply. Sadly, research shows that young people prefer to eat at restaurants to hawker centres. Chefs are given celebrity status, but hawkers have amazing culinary skills too. Sometimes when I eat at a restaurant, I think, “I’d rather be eating a good bowl of wanton mee than this pretentious rubbish.”
To encourage people to eat at hawker centres and kopitiams, Tiger Beer has taken on the task to ensure our street food scene remains vibrant. Besides the three videos that tell the true-life stories of hawkers, Tiger Beer is also celebrating our local food by giving out $5 meal coupons at selected kopitiams every Wednesday from 6pm-9pm.
On Wednesday, I dropped by the kopitiam where Tiger Beer was giving out coupons, because the kopitiam is between my home and gym. Got a coupon and a satisfying meal. And went home. It would be nice if you can take a photo of your food and upload on instagram with the hashtag #uncagestreetfood to show your support for our local hawker fare!
Step 1: Spot the Tiger helpers giving out $5 coupons. (I love it that they are using young people to help so that they are aware of the movement too.)
Step 2: Get coupon from a Tiger helper. (I got mine from a celebrity, Kui Jien.) Got complimentary tissue somemore.
Step 3 (optional): Chope seat with tissue! Hey, I’m Singaporean, I’m kiasu, ok?
Step 4: Use coupon to buy food.
Step 5: Snap photo and upload to instagram with hashtag #uncagestreetfood. Show some love for our street food lah.
Step 6: MAKAN!!! ATTACK THE FOOD WITH GUSTO.
This is the first time in my memory that a concerted effort—from Tiger Beer, from celebrities, from bloggers—is done on a nationwide scale to preserve Singapore street food. A brand that is integral to our hawker heritage, Tiger Beer is also our national beer and has grown with our country, just as hawker food is unique to Singapore. It’s like if you think of them as bros, they grow up together, so one bro is helping another bro out. Haha.
Here is another thing you can do to help preserve our street food heritage: when you buy a 6-pack Tiger Beer from leading supermarkets and hypermarkets from 1 Apr – 31 May, Tiger Beer will set aside 20 cents for the street food movement, and reinvest the amount into Singaporean hawkers in the second phase of this movement that will happen in the later part of the year. What time is it?
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Hashtag #uncagestreetfood on your instagram photos of our local street food to share your thoughts on whether we should preserve our street food culture and support this movement championed by Tiger Beer.
For more information on Tiger Beer’s new street food movement to celebrate and preserve our nation’s unique food heritage, visit http://www.tigerbeer.com.sg.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Credit: Photos without our logo are taken from Tiger Beer.