Photo of impromptu Deepavali celebration is 'uniquely Singapore'

The concert was over, but the celebrations had just begun.

As the crowd dispersed from the open field next to Tekka Market after the Deepavali Countdown Concert two Fridays ago, the party spilled onto the streets of Little India.

Mr Chia Aik Beng was photographing the festivities when he spotted a group of migrant workers dancing on the road, stopping traffic as a bus drove by.

"It was pure fun, it was crazy," said the 45-year-old graphic designer. "Even the bus driver in the picture was smiling and so were the passengers."

Mr Chia's photo caught the eye of all three judges last week, winning the $500 prize for this year-long contest organised by The New Paper and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to encourage Singaporeans to document everyday life in the city.


Two of the judges, who picked it as the winner for the week's "Playful Singapore" theme, praised the photographer.

"This photograph is uniquely Singapore - its festivals, public transport and migrant community," said judge Alphonsus Chern.

Judge Lim Wui Liang was impressed by how the photo was framed, saying: "This image captures the spontaneous and uninhibited joy of migrant workers in Little India during Deepavali. The SBS bus and its colours 'gives us a Singaporean context'.

Judge Gary Goh picked a wedding photo containing 40 images of Mr Yeo Wee Han and his wife acting out various scenes along the corridors of a housing block at Kampong Kayu.

"Kudos on their scouting skills and the use of composite images to have different expressions of themselves splashed all over this final image," he said.

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