The Buffalo Horn #7 (Spring 2019)

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Editors’ Note


Directors’ Note





EVENTS: Spring 2019 FOC


EVENTS: CNB Anti-Drug Campaign


CLUBS: Psychology Society


CLUBS: Sociology Club




STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Made with Monsters








FOOD: Traditional Snacks


FOOD: Mamak Shop Tidbits


FASHION: Thrift Store Chic


FASHION: Looks by the Decade


ART: Film is Not Dead


ART: Looking Back with Wonder Boy


INTERACTIVE: Personality Quiz

I l l us tra t i o n s b y M a b e l Ye o ; D e s i g n e d b y If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i & N i cks o n O n g


‘ O S E DI T R



ostalgia is a term often brought up but rarely discussed in depth. To many, it embodies the sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past. Stemming from the Greek words nostos (return home) and algos (pain), the term is a modern Latin translation for Heimweh, which means “homesickness” in German. Indeed, the idea of home brings comfort to us — a sanctuary from worldly woes, filled with happy memories and familiar faces. Although we may travel away from home most of the time, we find ourselves retreating back into familiar horizons eventually. Similarly, throughout time, tales of revolution and war bringing about advancement of the human race are told. Yet one theme remains constant — people look forward to a time when life is comfortable and often, this period of time lies not in the future, but in the past. As we immerse ourselves in worries about the uncertain future, we often look back in time for familiarities, comfort, and inspiration. Returning to the golden period, this issue of The Buffalo Horn pays homage to great ideas, art, fashion, and places of the past. We are also especially humbled to collaborate with contributing writers from the student body in this time-traveling journey. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did producing it, so sit back, relax, and make yourselves at home! — Ashwini Thanabalan & Nickson Ong, Editors-in-Chief



#throwback Who would have thought, given the ’90s vision of a future filled with technology, that the beginning of the new century would in fact be marked by an increase in expressions of nostalgia — in nostalgic objects, media content and styles? Not to mention, the digitization of retro designs, like editing digital photographs on mobile phones to resemble Polaroids. To start off this issue, SIM-UB Resident Directors and Student Council main committee members tell us some of their favorite childhood memories.

“The first things I remember were a television falling on my head (my fault), and a host of serious illnesses I had: scarlet fever, chicken pox, etc. Even the only real vacation my family ever took, I got head lice. It’s harder to look back at distinct memories and remember the good ones. However, I remember a general mood — a sense of freedom and a carefree attitude that I constantly fight to maintain as I get older and become burdened with responsibility.” — Katie Fassbinder, Assistant Resident Director, SIM-UB Programs

“Like Katie, my first memory is of something falling on my head. In my case, it was an iron. After that, my most nostalgic memories involve smells: freshly cut grass in spring, hot dogs on the grill and coconut scented Coppertone in summer, autumn leaves, and the hateful smell of snow in winter.” — Kevin McKelvey, Resident Director, SIM-UB Programs

“My definition of nostalgia is definitely the aromatic scent of my grandmother’s cooking after coming home from a long day in school.” — Cheryl Poh, Director of Publications, SIM-UB Student Council 2019 “Driving through the streets of my hometown in India brings me back to beautiful memories of my childhood!” — Gautham Manesh, President, SIM-UB Student Council 2019 “My fondest childhood memory would be my brother and I taking turns to drag each other around the house on a blanket every morning.” — Tricia Lim, Director of Publications, SIM-UB Student Council 2019


I l l us tra tions b y Ma b e l Ye o ; D e s i g n e d b y A s h w i n i T h a n a b a la n & If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i








Ashwini Thanabalan Nickson Ong Alex Tan Cindy Yong Iffah Durrah Kajai Mabel Yeo Adil Azlian Alvin Ho Andrea Loh Casia Chew Eujinn Chia Rachel Fong Roseann Goh Matthew Kwong Miko Pang Angus Tan Sofilia Zaidee Sharmaine Ang Diyanah Syahirah Aaron Mitchell Goh Ang Si Lin Charlotte Ang Edward Tan Yeo Zising




with New Bonds

Word s b y Miko Pa ng & Mat t he w Kw o ng P hotos b y Cha rlotte Ang , Rache l Fo ng & Ye o Zi si ng


ew beginnings always bring uncertainty, and this time was no different. A new environment meant a new bunch of friends, and we were unsure whether our introverted selves could survive the 2D1N orientation camp. As such, our plan was to stand out as little as possible from the mass of freshmen for the next two days. Despite our worries, we found ourselves in the Amato family of Maphia House with an interesting blend of diverse personalities. Nevertheless, we were bonded by our mutual apprehension and excitement of what lay before us. As the intention of the cheers and games was to break the ice and get us warmed up to one another, we utilized those moments to integrate better with our fellow freshies. One such activity was the friendship dance, which required us to pair up and perform a cute, short mass dance in a circle. At the end of the dance, we were rotated and paired up with different partners, and we had to reintroduce


ourselves to that new friend. We actually met some of our current friends from that dance! Even so, the friendship dance was merely one of several activities we got to experience throughout the camp, of which we unanimously agreed our favorite was the night walk. From props to storyline, everything was well-prepared and finely executed. In particular, the station located in the toilets was elaborately decorated and gave us an extremely horrifying experience, sending shivers down our spines and causing us to hesitate exploring further. As impressed as we were, we could see the passion expressed through the sheer intensity of the Game Masters’ acting. We also remembered another station where we had to search for clues in the dark to solve the murder mystery, which required a collective team effort to uncover the puzzle.

Designed by Sharmaine Ang


Through the night walk and the games, we turned from strangers who knew very little about one another to friends who were more than pleased to step into this voyage together. It was uplifting to learn that the seniors were very approachable, gladly introducing the SIM-UB culture and spirit to us freshies. For our House Masters and Group Leaders, it was not all just fun and games. Their selfless attitudes made the camp memorable by always ensuring we were well-fed and hydrated after tiring activities. These small acts really warmed our hearts, knowing that they genuinely cared for us.

Our greatest takeaway from this camp? Definitely the bonds forged in this short period of time. With our friends and seniors constantly guiding and spurring us on, we were able to experience a greater sense of belonging. Through this camp, we know for sure the friendships we have established are the ones which will be alongside us throughout our journey here in SIM-UB.



FIGHTING FOR A MESSAGE BIGGER THAN OURSELVES Word s by A aro n M it c hell Goh P h ot os c o u r t e s y o f t he Centra l Na rcotics Burea u


ast month, a group of like-minded university students with a penchant for volunteering — including myself — were given an opportunity from the Singapore Institute of Management’s (SIM) Student Development Board (SDEV) to organize an event on campus as part of the Central Narcotics Bureau’s (CNB) ongoing anti-drug campaign happening in Singapore. We wanted to fight for a cause larger than ourselves, and this opportunity was a great outlet for that. Youths nowadays misunderstand the effects and consequences of drugs — them generally being taken too lightly, which is how we became inspired to spread the anti–drug message amongst tertiary students.


The event was aimed at educating students about the campaign, which entails knowledge of commonly abused drugs, the consequences of drug abuse, and real-life experiences of those who battled and fought through drug addiction. On top of this, the event aimed to connect students to the CNB and National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, so that they would be able to stay updated on drug awareness news and events. As part of the team that initiated the event, I got to witness the beginnings of a fruitful relationship between SDEV and CNB — an outcome we had not expected from organizing the event.

D e s i g n e d b y A s h w i n i T h a n a b a la n


In addition, we surprisingly experienced an overwhelming response of new volunteers signing up for the Anti–Drug Advocate program. It was truly a successful endeavor — every organization and volunteer gave their full support, which essentially made everything smooth and worthwhile.

The Ups and Downs There were several limited options we could put up for the event. Everything had to be approved by the CNB in order to move forward with the process, and some ambitious ideas did not make it into the finalized draft. We had to ensure our vendors followed certain SIM regulations presented to us by SDEV. This was a tricky process as some of them did not present all of their required information, and we had to get first-hand information by prompting them.

The Planning Process There were multiple steps for us to follow in order to ensure the success of the event: First, a recce of the venue had to be established. A general idea about the type of event we wanted formed as we performed our recce; we decided on a roadshow format. A proposal was formulated with the target audience in mind, such as the goals of the event, its floor plan, etc. This proposal was sent to the CNB, NCADA and SDEV for approval. Once all organizations gave the green light, a date was decided and the budget was granted by NCADA. We then had to liaise with all involved, including vendors and volunteers to ensure everyone was on the same page for the event.

The Team As volunteers from different courses, we had differing commitments, making it difficult to ensure tasks were effectively carried out among the organizing committee. When such situations arose, I had to take over and coordinate as the overall-in-charge. My partner, Ray, was with me every step of the way, and I definitely could not have achieved what we had without him. In addition, one of our committee members, Thanwir, was actually from Nanyang Technological University and it was an extra challenge to familiarize himself with the SIM campus as a whole, which he took up wholeheartedly and was committed to fulfilling his assigned tasks. As this was purely on a voluntary basis, we did not want to put too much pressure on one another. If there were shortcomings in anyone’s role, we would reevaluate and ensure everything went according to plan. In the end, everyone came through with their assigned roles and we managed to execute the event without major issues.



UNIPSYCH SYMPOSIUM 2018 Word s by Edw ard Tan P hot os c o u r t e s y o f Ps y cholog y Society


he job search: every fresh graduate’s worst nightmare; asking about it results in a rush of cortisol with a side of anxiety. As a Psychology major, I believe I speak for all of us when I say we are no exception to this rule.

Some of you reading this might remember this random guy whom you’ve never seen before standing in front of your Psychology class, promoting an event that you’ve never heard about. Yeah, that was me. I even went to Ms Katie Fassbinder’s office to promote UniPsych and to invite her to attend, as I feared the reception to the symposium would be underwhelming. Thankfully, about 50 SIM-UB students signed up after my week-long promotional efforts, and I saw many familiar faces during the symposium. During the event, students were mingling not just with each other, but with the many working professionals and invited guests. Most professionals were of the mind that work ethic and past experiences were determining factors when they seek new hires. The same logic applied when they were asked about applying for postgraduate programs. TL;DR: GPA isn’t everything.

Enter the UniPsych Symposium, a conference that brings together psychology undergraduates from across Singapore. I joined four other psychology undergraduates from other institutions who were equally keen to ease the agony of the job hunt and together, we set out to plan this symposium to showcase the various job paths in the field of Psychology.


Honestly, the fact that such a large-scale event could be pulled off by a bunch of students bodes well for all undergraduates. It showed that there are jobs out there and employers are hiring fresh graduates. Hopefully, with enough of such events, us undergraduates can fight the stigma that jobs are rarer than legendary Pokémon. Even more so, we need to understand that we have to be more than our GPA to land a good one.

D e s i g n e d b y N i cks o n O n g


SAMH YOUTH ALIVE! 2018 Word s by Edw ard Tan P h ot os c o u r t e s y o f S ing a pore Associa tion of M e nt a l H e al t h ( S A M H )


emember when I mentioned earlier that I invited Ms Katie Fassbinder to attend UniPsych? Well, she happened to be in contact with the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) regarding volunteering opportunities for their annual YOUth Alive! event. I think Singapore is slowly starting to realize the importance of mental health, and SAMH YOUth Alive! 2018 was just one of the many events that aimed to end the stigma of mental health issues.

In my opinion, many of the activities during the event were focused on youth support and rightly so! These days, everything from social media to CPF stresses us out and it is paramount that all of us have a strong support system to tackle these issues head on. Dr Francis Yeoh, president of SAMH, apparently felt the same, mentioning in his opening speech, “A community approach provides the critical support for this vulnerable group (youths) as they face the daily pressures from school, family or peers. It is crucial that they have a strong and dependable support network in their family, friends, teachers, employers and neighbors.”

“A community approach provides the critical support for this vulnerable group (youths) as they face the daily pressures from school, family or peers. It is crucial that they have a strong and dependable support network in their family, friends, teachers, employers and neighbors.” There was one moment which really stuck out throughout the four days of volunteer work. It was an interaction with a parent of a child with Down syndrome. If there ever was a physical manifestation of a well-known Chinese phrase proclaiming the “greatness of a mother’s sacrifice”, it would be this lady, whom I had the honor of meeting. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which is usually linked with physical growth delays and intellectual disabilities. As you might expect, being a parent to such a child would be challenging at best, and lifealtering at worst. Hearing about her daily struggles and her pride when her child completes the simplest of tasks really sent me on a one-way trip on the feels train. It was truly a moment of enlightenment about the things we take for granted and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Someone once asked me, “Hey, Edward, have you heard the joke about mental health? No? That’s because mental health isn’t a joke!” (Haha) To end with a concluding monologue, I think that as university students, our peers are often our strongest pillars of support. With the ever-changing world that we live in, mental health should be one of our foremost concerns. Who else to have a conversation about it with than the people we are close to?



WHERE THE SUN SHINES FOR NOT MUCH LONGER Word s an d p h o t o s by Alex Ta n

With modest open spaces, utilitarian layouts and low apartment complexes by today’s standards, Dakota Crescent is far from impressive in its architecture, yet it is this refreshing simplicity which has endeared it to its inhabitants for nearly six decades. Along the way, it has also captured the hearts of outsiders, international tourists included.


n early Saturday morning, with the well-oiled machine that is Singapore still awakening and not yet up to its full pace — reminiscent of a typical scene in Dakota Crescent apart from one major caveat: it has been deserted for three years now. Organized by the SIM Sociology Club, we were gathered at the now-desolate estate as part of an educational tour into its history and impacts of relocation on its former residents. Beginning at the Old Airport Road Open Space — amidst Blocks 2, 4 and 6 — we were given an introduction by our guides, Yinzhou and Wanying, to its formation and design. A result of its close vicinity to the similarly disused Kallang Airport — hence Old Airport Road — its purpose was simple: to provide cheap housing for those displaced by fires from nearby kampungs (villages) of Tiong Bahru and Kallang in the late ’50s.


D e s i g n e d b y If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

With Dakota Crescent’s white facades now tinted a brooding shade of yellow, it indicates a sentient — and selfaware — entity sensing impending destruction awaiting all but six blocks. While usage conversion might be the next best thing for preservation of its heritage, past memories will still undoubtedly fade as the landscape changes.

Beyond its seemingly laid-back exterior however, the estate carried with it an infamous reputation as a gangster’s paradise. Ask any laojiao (literal Hokkien colloquial for “old bird”) and you’d be besieged with stories of fights and confrontations with the mata (police). Despite this, they’ll also disclose the sense of safety from living here, due to a strong sense of community amongst all. It is this strange dichotomy which differentiates it from today’s typical housing estates.

Through losing a national relic, we risk losing even more of our national identity; without history to build upon as a stepping stone, our direction for forging the path ahead becomes clouded in the name of “progress”. The sun shines bright over Dakota Crescent for today, but not for much longer when most of it eventually ceases to exist.




D e s i g n e d b y A s h w i n i T h a n a b a la n


LOOKING BACK IN TIME Word s b y Nickson Ong & A shw i ni T hanab al an P hotos b y Nic kso n Ong


painting of the salon of Madame Geoffrin from 1755 hung virtually on the white screen as Professor Michael Halliday paced back and forth in the lecture theater. Topic of the day? The Exchange of Enlightenments. The next hour and a half passed like sand in a tiny hourglass, filled with words of Voltaire and Diderot narrated in a rapid cadence. He paused and addressed the class with a comforting smile, “That’s it for today, remember to do your readings!”

With no textbook definition to the term, the notion of nostalgia may prove to be subjective. Although nostalgia is loosely understood as literal, most of us would find ourselves more familiar with the concept of figurative nostalgia — revisiting a past we have never experienced. Professor Halliday explained that people explore film, arts and literature of another decade and find themselves inevitably drawn to it, even though they did not live in that period.

Hailing from Western New York, Professor Halliday had a short military career before his tenure here at SIM-UB. Apart from teaching Civilizations and Beliefs: Global History on campus, Professor Halliday has vested interest in other topics such as politics, law, and travel. When asked about his choice to teach history — noting preconceptions of it being boring — he explains: “I’ve always enjoyed the subject. I enjoy the narrative elements of history; as the collection of the stories of us all.” He further elaborated on how historians serve as custodians of the human narrative, recording and aggregating stories.

“There’s no ability to put yourself in that issue. It is a twodimensional kind of image that we see on a screen that is played by actors and it is completely constructed.”

We sat down with him after class to discuss the idea of nostalgia. For someone with a vast knowledge of the past, Professor Halliday has contrasting views of nostalgia. To him, the term itself carries two meanings: literal nostalgia and figurative nostalgia. Literal nostalgia means reminiscing a time that we have experienced, while figurative nostalgia means looking back to a romanticized era we never lived in. For the latter, an example would be someone who has read a lot of late 18th century literature and watched shows like Downton Abbey, causing them to be culturally immersed in that era. Literal nostalgia, on the other hand, carries a similar meaning to “homesickness”. It entails the idea of longing and sentimentality for a time when a person has lived through — like the “golden era” of the ’60s.

With a similar notion of looking back in time, how do historians then perceive the notion of nostalgia? “What’s interesting about history is what we do with history. A lot of history is an imagined establishment. We try to understand the past that we did not actually experience. For instance, you learn about the French Revolution to imagine what it was like for those people at that time who were just like you, to have gone through such circumstances,” Professor Halliday replied. In an imagined past that exists within nostalgia, one would find it perplexing to decide if it is beneficial or harmful to humankind. Professor Halliday favors the view that understands nostalgia for what it is — a fundamental way our memories and personalities conceptualize the world. “Nostalgia is one of the means for historical evaluation that professional historians often point to, in order to argue that history is a critical subject for all students. It is part of a liberal arts education. An educated person can evaluate historical episodes with many conceptual tools and not just an emotional or unevaluated nostalgia. History, as a discipline, asks the student to be skeptical of nostalgia, to break it down and examine it — to challenge it.”



Long Live Emo Word s b y Cind y Yo ng P hotos courtes y of M ad e w i t h Mo nst e rs


D e s i g n e d b y A n g u s Ta n




hat springs to mind when you hear the word “emo”? If eyeliner, studded belts and depressed adolescents are what first come up, you’re probably thinking of the fashion and demographic it impacted most in the late 2000s. “Emo”, as the name suggests, is essentially a rock music genre characterized by a strong emphasis on human emotions expressed through confessional and rather melancholic lyrics. In recent years, emo has grown to be more prevalent than ever — popular emo punk bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco are still making waves and keeping die-hard fans on their toes. Closer to home — and SIM-UB — local emo rock quartet Made with Monsters have just released a music video for their latest single, The Transient State.

popularity; some bands disbanded and some abandoned their emo roots to experiment with synth-pop styles, raising eyebrows about emo’s viability. So how is emo still relevant and what’s the secret behind the genre’s longevity? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a case of nostalgia, but rather, the rise of new emo movements— subgenres like screamo, an aggressive offshoot of emo, emo pop and emo rap draw on the aesthetic and sound of ’90s emo, and successfully blended the nuances of two eras. “Our music is rather alternative, with elements of post-rock and post-hardcore. We try to tie in some mainstream stuff, so for vocals we try to keep it catchy, and for instruments, we try to mix all genres,” shares Jovan.

“For the band, emo is a familiar genre, but with a twist,” shares Nathan Ng, who plays the bass. “If we sounded exactly the same — like emo in the ’00s — our music wouldn’t really fit and sound current and relatable,” lead singer and SIM-UB student Jovan Lee adds. While most fans believe that we’re currently experiencing an emo revival, some argue that it never went away in the first place.

Needless to say, the real challenge for these artistes is to expand their sound, all while staying true to their foundations. While the diverse music scene is ever-changing, the influence of emo still lives on. As Noisey writer Dan Ozzi so perfectly puts it: “There’s no emo revival, you just stopped paying attention”.

The wistful genre was formerly known as emotional hardcore or emocore, and first emerged as a style of post-hardcore from the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace. A decade later, emo was adopted by alternative rock and pop punk bands like Jimmy Eat World and Weezer, breaking into the mainstream.

The Transient State is part of Made with Monsters’ debut EP, Warmer, and is now available for streaming on Spotify, with the rest of the album due for a May 2019 release. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@madewithmonsters) for gig updates!

Emo hit its peak from 2001 to 2006, with bands such as The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and My Chemical Romance that gave the ’90s kids their angst anthems, now played religiously at Singapore’s monthly sing-along party, EMONIGHTSG. As for the dark times, during the mid 2010s, the music scene saw a dip in the genre’s



WHEELS IN TIME Word s a nd photo s b y A l ex Tan As students, it’s highly likely we’ll be faced with the question of “what now?” upon graduating from SIMUB, with many of us going on to work desk-bound jobs. Breaking from the norm, 27-year-old Communication alumnus, Luhan Tan, runs his own business — Classic Motors SG, a classic car workshop.


To shed light on what made him take such an unconventional route, I visited Luhan at his workshop in Tuas to discuss how he got into working with these mechanical relics, what they mean to him and how his studies have helped with the business.

D e s i g n e d b y If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i


What got you into classic cars and when did that happen?

How did Classic Motors come about?

The fun thing about classic cars is that you can fix them yourself and you don’t need a lot of special tools. With some wrenches and screwdrivers, you can do a lot. So how I got into cars was that I got a Land Rover when I was 20, fixed it up, and from there I learned how to repair all the other stuff.

My friends and I have been playing with Land Rovers for so long and we always had this discussion of opening a workshop, since we’re always fixing up our cars. I was more fortunate to have the opportunity, so I decided to hire this one Chinese national. From there we moved on to other classic cars — not just Land Rovers.

Is there anything about classic cars that attract you to them rather than modern sports cars?

What is the ethos behind Classic Motors?

They’re not more reliable, but there’s more longevity to them; with a bit of tools, you can keep them running for a long time. Whereas for modern cars, once they have some issues, you’ll need to keep sending them to the workshop and there’ll be no end to the repairs, mainly because of the electronics.

Singaporeans aren’t very hands-on, so with this space, and my passion and interest, our focus is on having a good relationship with the vehicle owners. For small issues, we’ll advise customers what to do so they don’t need to come here. We want people to enjoy these vehicles and not just drive and park them. That’s no fun; one must have a relationship with the car.





Who are your clients, in terms of demographics? It’s a wide age range, from 20-plus to 50-plus, because anyone can enjoy all these cars.

Any interesting clients and their specific requests for a car to be prepared a certain way? We can only modify the car so much within the law, so we have to advise our clients what’s legal. But for these cars, the customization is mainly aesthetic — not so much mechanical modifications. Most of the time, they just want specific paint colors or choices between Nappa, European or synthetic leather.

What’s the hardest part of running the business? The hardest part is to make sure there is unity between my guys and I, and to get everybody to act as a team with a common goal: to deliver the best possible service and product at a fair price.

Do you have an essential repair tool you keep on standby at all times? An adjustable wrench or pliers, since they’re the most versatile. If you’re strong enough, you can open anything with them; I’m not, so I have a very small tool set — screwdriver, wrench, pliers and hammer — I always bring around.

Name your dream car, classic or otherwise. My dream car is a Land Rover Series. I had my dream car when I was 20, but sadly sold it, so now I’m trying to rebuild one to rekindle the feelings. Even so, the memories are with that car — having spent so much time with it — so maybe one day I’ll buy it back from the current owner whose number I still have. I’ll eventually get it back, one way or another.

What do classic cars represent to you? They represent an era where the driver is responsible for the performance of the vehicle. All these cars back then came with factory-supplied toolboxes and owners were expected to do basic repairs. While new cars are enjoyable to drive, they cannot replicate this “feel” developed with years of ownership and understanding — from the steering on your fingertips to the tires engaging with the bumps on the road, you develop a connection with the car.

How did studying Communication help you with running Classic Motors? I’m more mechanically inclined, so Communication taught me to see how a car can signal to others one’s individuality through its aesthetic personalization. It has also helped me to become more engaging with my clients through the use of feedback loops; I have an app detailing what’s going on with their cars, so they can access a to-do list to find out what has or hasn’t been done, or even which parts are still awaiting delivery. If I had studied engineering, I probably wouldn’t have learned all these.

Was there a favorite module you had while studying in SIM-UB? While I don’t remember the exact module, I remember this one class where an advertisement was played of a man — seated in the back of a classic Rolls Royce — eating mustard. We were exploring how the mustard manufacturer was trying to portray itself as “high class” through the use of the Rolls Royce. At the time, I was also trying to repair a Rolls Royce of the same model — a Silver Shadow — so I found that quite funny.

How about the most valuable lesson learned beyond the classroom? The time we spend will become our most important asset. We develop value from our skills so spend time developing those skills. Another thing I learned is that you need to treat everyone with kindness and respect. There are all kinds of people in the world and some act in ways you wouldn’t expect. It’s all part of the job and all part of people we’ll meet in our lives.

Before we end off, is there any advice you would give to students about to graduate? Treasure your time in university, because I still think it’s more fun to not have to work. My job may be fun, but I have to stress out over money and handle clients’ calls anytime between 10 in the morning and 12 midnight. If you let me have a choice, I’d rather be a student forever. Spend that time in school wisely: make the most of it and hang out with friends, because you’re not going to have that kind of carefree life again. Just don’t do drugs and you’re good. To find out more about the rad cars of Classic Motors SG, look them up on Facebook @classicmotorssingapore, Instagram @classicmotorssg and on their website at


Illu s t ra t i o n b y M a b e l Ye o

//// FOOD


Let’s Makan!

Wo rds by C as ia Che w & Cind y Yong Ph o t o s by Nickson Ong


Singaporean pastime we all enjoy is eating. With various international cuisines gaining a foothold on our shores, hawkers aren’t the only ones facing the threat of extinction. In celebration of all things traditional, here are three golden gems from decades past which have managed to outlast the passage of time.


D e s i g n e d b y Ma b e l Ye o




esisting modernization in the gentrified enclave that is Everton Park, Ji Xiang Confectionery blends right in with the charming old-school HDB architecture, a rare sight among the surrounding estates which have mostly made way for hip cafés and bars.

A bright red embossed oval set on a square of banana leaf, ang ku kueh (literally red tortoise cake) is a glutinous rice cake reminiscent of tortoise shells. It symbolizes longevity and prosperity, thus regarded as an auspicious snack for several Chinese festivities. To keep up with the times without straying from their roots, they experimented with flavors other than the traditional sweet bean and peanut fillings. What started out as a home business distributing its specialty to nearby provision shops expanded in 1988 to meet the demands of its loyal customers and their referrals. Despite the influx of orders, they insist on making each and every ang ku kueh by hand daily to ensure the skin is of the right consistency — soft, chewy, and not too thick — the very quality that determines what makes or breaks a good ang ku kueh.


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estled within a quaint coffee shop visually suspended in the ’70s with a perpetual waft of freshly baked buttery goodness, this is THE bakery from which anyone should get tau sar piahs (bean paste pastries). It was Loong Fatt that made Balestier synonymous with tau sar piahs, having inspired several others to sell this traditional snack along the same stretch with its success. Alas, they watched as the rest came and went, dying with the fad it started. The long queues you see even today are a testament to its popularity and authenticity. Flaky, crispy, and moist, these are a whole other experience from their Malaysian counterparts. *Tip: We suggest you eat them while they’re still hot from the oven, paired with a cup of Chinese tea. It’s a simple yet delightful way to while away an afternoon.





o get a taste of authentic chapati, Azmi Restaurant is where you’d want to be. Tucked away in a corner along Serangoon Road and Norris Road is this nondescript, no-frills Indian Muslim stall that serves up affordable traditional fare on disposable plates. A common staple in South Asia, chapatis are unleavened dough made of whole wheat flour known as atta, mixed with salt and water, and cooked on a tava (flat skillet). Made fresh upon order at Azmi Restaurant with a house recipe of over 60 years, this chewy and slightly charred delicacy is the perfect accompaniment to the mutton keema, a classic dish comprising a chock full of spicy minced meat, potato and peas. As for vegetarians and those who simply can’t handle the heat, equally good are the ladies’ fingers and daal (lentils, peas and beans) to mop up with every bit of chapati. *Tip: The eatery is rarely seen empty, even on weekdays, so it’s best you swing by on a Thursday — and bring a friend along to share!


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Word s b y Alv in Ho & A ng S i L i n Illustra tions b y A ng S i L i n

For many, the mamak shop — a convenience store or sundry shop found under the typical Singaporean high-rise apartment block — represents a sense of home and familiarity for those who grew up locally. However, do you know why they are called as such? As important parts of our childhood, it is necessary to take the time to revisit the traditional mamak shop in our trip down memory lane.


nown for carrying our favorite childhood snacks, they are our go-to spot after a hot day in school. Unlike mainstream convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Cheers, most mamak shops are owned by elderly folk who would treat you like a well-acquainted family friend. While most of us pronounce it as “mama shop”, they are actually not associated with aunts or even mothers! The term mamak loosely translates to “uncle” or “senior” in Tamil, which harkens back to how they were started by the early Indian settlers in Singapore. The interior of these stores are lined with metal shelves packed meticulously with delectable snacks, ranging from commercial Western candy bars to traditional Asian cookies. As kids, going around these stores seemed like a never-ending maze of tidbits. Strangely, despite the array of items, you never fail to locate your favorite snacks. In our attempt to revisit the past, we will introduce some of our favorite snacks to rekindle the wonderment we felt as kids when we were eating them.


D e s i g n e d b y If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i


Iced Gems

Apollo Chocolate Wafer Cream

Pola Snack

A colored meringue icing atop a crisp dry biscuit. The origin of today’s debate over the “correct” way of eating Oreos stems from the times when ’90s kids had so many questions before eating this irresistible delight. Icing or biscuit first? Do the various types of color icing taste different from each other? You have to try one yourself to find out!

Kids nowadays have their Kit Kats but back then, these sinful chocolate wafers wrapped in bright red foil were our version of the ever-famous snack. The most enjoyable aspect about these wafers were that they were usually given in goodie bags for holidays — such as Children’s Day — and as kids, we would always try to get the “rare” flavors (vanilla or strawberry)! The bright red packaging, amidst the other small candies found in said goodie bags, always got Si Lin excited.

These irregularly shaped snacks may not be visually appealing, but they are just so tasty and irresistible that we could finish multiple packs within minutes. Often starting off with a bite or two, we quickly find ourselves unknowingly finishing the pack and are left wanting more.

Mamee Monster Noodle Snack

White Rabbit Creamy Candy

Wheel Crackers

The steps to eating this are simple. Pour in the flavoring — even though it usually just ends up on the top layer — crush it, shake it and devour the blend! Hilariously, Alvin once made an error of cooking it as instant noodles. What he ended up with was a serving of horribletasting noodles. Best not to make the same mistake!

This chewy milk candy is similar to the contemporary nougat or taffy found all over the world. For many years, we did not know what the secret was behind the mysteriously edible, plastic-like coating that encased this delectable sweet. However, according to our meticulous research, that “edible wrapper” is apparently rice paper!

While there is no best way to eat it, many of us simply stuff handfuls of these wheel-shaped crackers into our mouths. Something about them is so awfully addictive. Is it the texture from their unique shape? Or maybe it’s just the MSG? We will never know.


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Words and photos by Andrea Loh


intage T-shirts, sweaters, flannel shirts, and worn and torn jeans. This old-school, thrift store chic style establishes your status as a true fashion fan — as Vogue editors would call those who are unfazed by the newest “it� item. In an age of knockoffs and nonstop newness, some fashion trends remain timeless, touted as “new arrivals� in stores, albeit overpriced. What if there were places where you could get the same look at a fraction of the price? One, then, shouldn’t give up a good deal. Shopping at thrift stores is an incredibly helpful way to switch up your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Clothes from thrift stores are usually oneof-a-kind — it’s unlikely that you are going to see the same apparel on anyone else. Remember when the Backstreet Boys released their music videos on VHS, or when Care Bears were all the rage? Well, only at thrift shops will you find all kinds of pop culture mementos to bring back fond memories. Here are our top picks to get more bang for your buck, while making a statement or even a good conversation starter.



1 5 0 Or c har d P l az a # 0 5 -2 7 We d – S u n // 3: 0 0 p m – 8: 0 0 p m @exit_co Of f i c i al g r o u p : b i t .l y /T BH Ex i t Au c t i o n : b i t .l y /T BH Ex i t Au c t i o n

Exit the norm — the slogan of the store hits you right in the face. For starters, the layout of the store is split into two face to face units, rather than the usual side-by-side. Brands such as Supreme, Fila, Vans, and Adidas are aplenty here, ready to fuel your inner Hypebeast. Their Supreme collection is worth a mention — if you are a fan, you would know how hard it is to get your hands on one of these originals. Look out for updates of new merchandise on the store’s Instagram and Telegram channel. If you’re interested, the store also holds auctions every Friday at 8:30pm on a Telegram group (link above). All items are guaranteed to be authentic by the store owner, so you can thrift in peace. Favorite finds: Supreme collection, outerwear

D e s i g n e d b y If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i


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R ETR O G ATE Go l d en Mil e Comp l ex # 0 4 - 16 Da i l y / / 1:0 0 p m – 8 :0 0 p m (C l osed on Wed nesd a ys) @ retr oga teof f i c ia l bit. l y/ TB H R etr oga te bit. l y/ TB H R etr oWeb

At Retro Gate, the notion that streetwear is expensive is challenged. This Japanese-American inspired hipster thrift store embraces nostalgia through their huge collection of vintage T-shirts, sportswear, and vests from Japanese streetwear. Besides that, part of the store is sectioned as an “event space� featuring vintage arcade machines, PlayStation consoles and card games such as The Singaporean Dream, Organ Attack, and Secret Hitler, just to name a few.


Retro Gate is definitely the place for you if you are open to trying out new forms of streetwear, or have some extra time to burn. Simply purchase any product from the store to gain free entry to the “event space�. Favorite finds: Deals under $20, hoodies

But remember... You aren’t limited to just buying at a thrift store! Trading and selling your pre-loved clothing are also welcomed. Before you know it, you’ll not only be saving your wallet but also the environment — a win-win. Go on and pop some tags the next time you feel the urge to shop! Perhaps it will make you feel less guilty too!


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1970S Wor d s b y R o s e ann Goh P h ot o s b y M abe l Ye o


h, fashion in the ’70s — an incredibly riotous mishmash of colors and styles. The early 1970s were very much still a time heavily influenced by ’60s hippie fashion. People on the streets then touted bell-bottom pants, peasant blouses and ringer tees.

This decade saw the glorious reign of style icons Jacqueline Kennedy, Cher and Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell, in particular, stayed true to what was termed the “hippie chic” fashion of the ’60s. With her immense love for tie-dye and effortlessly chic ensemble of peasant blouses, flowy skirts and flare pants, she carried hippie fashion well into the ’70s. Her iconic looks and devotion to earlier ’60s fashion have greatly inspired us to contrive our own take on these “out-of-trend” trends.


D e s i g n e d b y Ma b e l Ye o

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oud and proud, the ’80s were renowned for its shockingly bright colors and over-thetop styles. Mom jeans and velour tracksuits were some of the hallmarks of street fashion in the ’80s. Style icons who reigned during this decade ranged from Brooke Shields to Madonna.

The ’80s also witnessed the birth of punk fashion in a rebellion against the hippie movement of the ’60s and a reflection of the materialist views of that decade. Even now, we hold punk fashion of the ’80s in the highest esteem and it still has a considerable influence in pop culture today. Here is our take on styling ’80s fashion trends that are still popular now.


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he ’90s saw the rise of grunge bands still legendary today. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, to name a few. Not only did they have a heavy hand in influencing the music scene at that time; they also kick-started a whole new wave in fashion. A far cry from the loud, colorful pieces of the ’80s, darker-colored flannel shirts, Dr Martens combat boots and ripped jeans were the fashion must-haves in the ’90s. Here are our ideas for styling these items in a grunge comeback.


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20 0 0S


fter going back in time and traversing through three decades of bell-bottoms, statement tees and flannel shirts, at long last we’ve arrived back into the current decennium, the 2000s. It needs no introduction and little explanation as most of us are familiar with what fashion looks like today. The early ’00s worshiped music’s “it” girl and pop icon, Britney Spears. Every fashionista wanted to get their hands on whatever she was wearing, be it plaid schoolgirl skirts or tube tops paired with rugged cargo pants. And in classic Oops!... I Did It Again fashion, cargo pants have rapidly made their comeback in recent years. Die-hard street fashion devotees would know that famous street brands Off-White, Heron Preston and Palm Angels sport cargo pants in almost every collection. Likewise, we are equally enamored with it, so peep our take on this much-loved style.

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D e s i g n e d b y N i cks o n O n g


Word s an d p h o t o s by Nickson Ong


quote from Tacita Dean, renowned English visual artist, comes to mind when big questions on modern photography arises: “Digital is not better than analog, but different. What we are asking for is co-existence... for the ascendancy of one not to have to mean the extinguishing of the other.” Indeed, little is known about the age of analog photography. In the increasingly digitized world that we live in, anyone can be a photographer. It is so easy to capture a moment; with a few taps on the screens on our phones, images are produced — almost like magic. We then look through LCD screens for dozens of the same scene and delete whatever that seems awful. Voilà! Your perfect image is now ready for the world to see. It may seem like the hassle of loading a film, looking through the viewfinder with

no LCD preview, and waiting out for your pictures are long over. Yet, millions of individuals all over the world still hold on to their analog cameras — capturing images on film. You may be wondering, why go back to film when photography is so much more convenient now? For starters, the influence of film remains palpable even till today — with a resurgence of photo applications emulating vintage filmlike effects on photos and artists increasingly relying on film to create illusory aesthetics. Stripped down to its very basic components, the workings of a film camera is similar to digital ones we see today. Yet in contrast with its digital counterpart, film photography is particularly involved in the understanding of light and color — thus producing images with greater saturation, grain and rich colors.


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The very idea of film photography also implies an organic act of taking pictures — with the loading of the film into the camera, clicking of the shutter button and opening of the shutter that allows light to interact with the chemicals on the film. There are no previews, fancy post-production features or your favorite Instagram filter.


Every shot is purely determined by the aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity of the film roll. It is of no surprise that serious photography students start out with film cameras — to hone their skills on finding the right composition and exposure.


When shooting on film, we tend to slow down and think of the image we want to get. As opposed to taking 50 frames on our digital camera and finding the “best shot”, a film camera compels you to think about the subject and composition of every shot, given the limited 36 exposures you have on each roll and the exorbitant price to process them.


“TELL A STORY. SHOOT ON. FILM IS NOT DEAD.” Every great picture tells a story. Amidst the grains and fades of film images, we often find ourselves tied to a narrative that induces nostalgia, and the longing to go back sometime in the past to relive a moment. It is often hard to describe how film images speak to us — a friend of mine, Jared, used to picture it as such: “It is the same feeling when you pull out a shoebox full of pictures from your childhood and looking through them fondly.” Like how the Renaissance looks back on Greco-Roman ideals, we too reminisce the times when film photography is the ideal aesthetic for documentation and art. As such, the resurgence of film photography is not a “hipster” movement or something that is “cool”; it is simply another avenue of photography that coexists with digital photography. Perhaps the next time you pick up a camera, go for the one with film rolls loaded. Look into the viewfinder. Tell a story. Shoot on. Film is not dead.


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LOOKING BACK WITH WONDER BOY AN INTERVIEW WITH DICK LEE Words by Rachel Fong Photos courtes y of Dick Lee


ith his wide repertoire of musicals and songs, singersongwriter and playwright Dick Lee has been known for capturing the unique Singaporean spirit through his work. Since the tender age of 15, he has been composing, performing and competing in many talent contests. The multi-talented Dick Lee is part of the Merdeka Generation who grew up during the tumultuous years of the 1950s to early 1960s, which were difficult times for the music industry in Singapore. As men were called to serve National Service and women were leaving schools for labor, there was little room for musicians to groom themselves. Despite such seemingly harrowing circumstances, Lee went against the grain and held on to his dreams of creating musical numbers that would one day rivet the nation. Fast forward to today, and the singer-songwriter has since contributed extensively to the now flourishing art scene in Singapore. Amongst his multiple creations, he is most notably known for composing national favorites, We Will Get There and Home. Little did I know, Home was a piece that was never meant to be written for the National Day Parade (NDP). Instead, it was initially a submission for a government-led music campaign titled Sing Singapore. The campaign, which ran through the mid ’90s, was aimed at promoting Singapore songs. A competition was held in conjunction with the campaign after songs were sent in, with the selected songs performed and kick-starting Singapore’s repertoire of pop songs.


D e s i g n e d b y A n g u s Ta n


Just before Home was composed in 1997, Lee was still pursuing his degree in Hong Kong when the invitation to pen the national classic arrived. His aim was simple: to pen a piece on the Singapore River. “I was homesick, so this was where the poignant feeling in the song comes from,” he recalled. “It was at night and I wrote the song looking out over the Hong Kong lights and streets.” When Home won the competition, all his hard work and sentiment invested into the song paid off. One of the judges happened to be the 1998 NDP Chairman, and he liked the song so much he wanted it to be played for that year’s celebrations. Lee thinks this may be the reason why people think it is a National Day song because of its first appearance then. Home’s debut was a momentous moment, becoming a crowd favorite and joining the finale of every NDP in years to come, unlike older songs like Count on Me, Singapore and Stand Up for Singapore, which were subsequently dropped. When asked about his feelings, he contently replied, “Home is one of those songs sung yearly, so when compared to the other songs, it may be the most repeated. It’s over 20 years old now as well, and this is what I’m really proud of.”

In retrospect, those sacrifices could also hold a sense of nostalgia for those from that generation, albeit vastly different from mine. “Nostalgia is sweet memories triggered by objects or music; it can hit you at the most unlikely moment and it comes in waves. It’s a very warm, positive feeling felt all around,” Lee remarked. Nevertheless, nostalgia can feel vastly different to people within the same generation, and Lee was careful to note how not everyone took comfort in reminiscing about the past, possibly due to unpleasant experiences. “On the other hand, others do nothing but reminisce, talking about the good ol’ days a bit too much and they really need to move on,” Lee stated brutally honestly. Move on he did, as the man made his directorial debut with the movie Wonder Boy in 2017, depicting his life growing up in the ’70s. Alongside being the Creative Director for NDP 2019, he’s also currently working on a TV adaptation of his musical Fried Rice Paradise, proving his immense talent across multiple disciplines.

The song’s prominence aside, more exposure has been given to the Merdeka Generation through YouTube videos and radio broadcasts with the aim to shed light on their contributions. Watching and hearing those stories left me with mixed feelings of sadness and gratitude for the sacrifices they’ve made.





SIM-UB is well-known for its diversity, taking in students from all walks of life. Have a go at our quirky personality quiz below to find out which of our school merch best suits your personal style!


It’s Thursday night and there’s only one class tomorrow before you’re done with school for the week! When it comes to packing your bag for the day ahead, you…


Look through the class syllabus like the model student you are and ensure you’ve prepared all required materials the prof has set out at the start of the semester.


Make sure you pack extra sportswear and running shoes since Friday equates to weekly sessions with your sports kakis (buddies).


Are more concerned with matching your outfit with your BFFs, when you all head to your favorite hangout in town straight after school.


Worry about what to bring only after waking up in the morning, since you’re already in the weekend mood. Besides, it’s “just one lesson only”!

Mid-term exams are just a week away from now, yet your timetable is filled

Q 2 . by daily 8:30am – 5:00pm classes — except for Fridays. Your study plan is… A.

To religiously adhere to revisions! At times, academic theories you’ve gone through that day even make cameos in your dreams!


To first head to the gym! After all, mind equals body and getting your blood pumping helps to keep your brain working!


Texting everyone you know from your major and jio-ing (invitin) them to your group-study sessions in the hopes to fall back on them for answers.


What’s this “revision” you speak of and can it be eaten? Considering your hectic schedule, catching up on sleep is of the utmost priority to stay sane…

School’s out, and you’ve finally earned that well-deserved break before the

Q 3 . new semester starts in several weeks. With so much free time, you...



Feel depressed that you’re not facing research papers every day, just like Hermione Granger when she’s not inundated by quill ink and parchment papers.


Go for all the activities the SIM Outdoor Adventure Club has to offer, such as trekking up Mount Batur in Bali and kayaking in the crystal-clear waters of Palawan.


Become a Group Leader in the Freshmen Orientation Camp for new SIM-UB students, taking the opportunity to expand your already vast social network.


Continue to sleep in till the late afternoon on a daily basis. Gotta make the most of what you have before it’s no longer there, amirite?

D e s i g n e d b y Ma b e l Ye o ; Wo rd s b y A lex Ta n & If f a h D u r ra h K a j a i















For Internal Circulation Only

The Buffalo Horn #7 (Spring 2019) Produced by SIM-UB Student Council Publications Department


/UB.Singapore Cover Illustration by Mabel Yeo