Festivals bring people together, and keeping that spirit alive, the transport authority in Singapore has joined in on the Diwali celebrations in a unique way. This year, Singapore’s famous Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) launched its first Diwali-themed train on October 15. In a series of pictures that were shared on the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) Facebook page, one can see the decked up coaches with rangolis, diyas, festoons and the works.
In its official statement, Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore which manages its Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, says, “It is an effort to celebrate the Festival of Lights in a whole new illuminating way this year. We have launched our first Deepavali themed train and now people can experience part of the stunning decorations at Little India right inside the MRT.”
The designs and decorations take inspiration from a similar style of festivity that’s exhibited in Singapore’s Little India area, which has a dense Indian population, as the name suggests. The train features elegant elements such as intricate Indian jewellery, the lotus and peacock – a symbol of good luck.
The themed train was launched by Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan, and will run on the North East Line (NEL) till mid-November.
The festivity and theme isn’t just restricted to the train either. Both the North East Line and Downtown Line platforms at Little India Station have been decorated with the same theme as well.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Singapore-based NRI Kamal Khanna said, “Little India is a small hub here where most of shops and establishments are owned by Singaporeans who are Indians by origin. Their ancestors migrated here decades ago. The Little India has two metro rail stations – North Eastern Line (NEL) and Downtown Line – and both have been beautifully decorated by LTA to celebrate Deepawali.’
However, the Singapore government has completely banned crackers which cause air and sound pollution. “There is strict enforcement of the ban and we cannot burst crackers here. We appreciate this step to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali,” he added.
To add to this, gigantic Diwali-themed lights have been put up on the roads across Little India, with lotuses and peacocks adorning the top lights, while ornate columns and diyas line the road.
For this fun-filled celebratory project, LTA has collaborated with the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA) so as to get the decorations and designs just right.
In celebration of the occasion, LTA has collaborated with the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA) to launch the Deepavali themed train.
The initiative has been met with a lot of positivity, and the going by the reactions to the photos shared on Facebook, there is a lot of appreciation for the Diwali-themed train and stations.
“Every year there are great Diwali decorations here in Singapore especially at Little India but the special themed trains have been launched for the first time,” said Khanna.