1,000kg of durians help rekindle kampung spirit

SINGAPORE - 300 people from all walks of life came together to pay homage to the King of Fruits and to rekindle the kampong spirit while celebrating Singapore's 48th birthday.

Supported by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), Durian Mobilisation 2013 was held at the Telok Ayer Community Centre and Hong Lim Park earlier this evening.

A total of 1,000 kilograms of seven different cultivars of durian were prepared for the feast. 

Participants were divided into groups of 10 to share and appreciate durians. Many brought their own picnic mats and drinks to share with strangers-turned new friends.

The night saw intense yet friendly debates as people defended their favourite cultivars as the best.

Participants were also encouraged to share their durian-related stories, and the top five story-tellers walked away with a book on Singapore's hawker food.

After the three-hour durian feast, participants cleaned up the venue as encouraged, playing a part to keep Singapore clean and green.

Dr William Wan, General Secretary of SKM, said: "We hope to bring back the Kampong Spirit through communal activities such as 'The Big Makan' and Durian Mobilisation.

"Eating durian has been a traditional kampong activity in Singapore for generations. It is encouraging to see people let down their guards and embrace each other over the common love for durian."

Professional diver Kiwi, 35, said: "This has been a pleasant surprise. I signed up for the event to eat durian, not expecting the fun or to even make new friends.

"The atmosphere was uplifting and bonding with people makes life more enjoyable. I will definitely come back next year and bring more friends with me!"