Samsui women

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“Samsui” in Cantonese means “three rivers” referring to the three rivers in Guangzhou (China) merging into one. This was where these Samsui women came from. In the hope of seeking a better life from their poverty stricken province, these women sailed the ardous journey from Guangzhou to Singapore in the early 20th century and became the women workforce in Singapore. Mainly working at construction sites and attired in their iconic big and bright red hats and blue-black samfoos, these women lived a simple and thrifty life living in the housing estates of Redhill, Tiong Bahru and Eu Tong Sen. Their dependable and resilient character were highly regarded. Who are these Samsui women?

An article appeared in today’s Straits Times describing The Samsui women of today. View the Photo Essay of Samsui women by photographer Sim Chi Yin.


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