Third-year students from Republic Polytechnic’s Diploma in Mass Communication won two out of the four prizes available at the City Hawker Food Hunt’s “Singapore Hawker Style” video competition, including the grand prize of $1,000 for the winning entry.
The annual event, jointly organized by City Gas and Shin Min Daily News, seeks to promote and celebrate hawker culture as an essential cornerstone of the Singapore identity. At the awards ceremony held at Boon Lay Place Hawker Centre on Nov 10, awards were given out to hawkers island-wide for their excellence in the various aspects of their craft, which ranged from their culinary skills to good service. The event also ran a video competition in which local tertiary students, in teams of two, produced short films about a particular hawker stall. The winning submission would receive $1,000 in prize money, with three other shortlisted films receiving the merit award, which comes with $500.
The winning piece was produced by RP students Chen He Liang and Valerie Lua Yu Ling and featured Teochew Handmade Pau, a stall selling traditional Chinese buns at Toa Payoh Hawker Centre. The video emphasized the importance of inheritance and promise, with its poignant and heartfelt narrative about a son who gave up his career as a mechanical engineer to help his father resonating with viewers and judges alike.
“We didn’t expect to win, but we are really honoured,” said 19-year-old He Liang. “We are definitely very happy and contented with the piece.”
But it was not all smooth sailing for the pair, as they had to work their way around bad luck and a tight schedule in order to complete the video on time.
Valerie, 19, explained: “I think that the most challenging part is the production process. It was raining on the day when we were supposed to film which made it hard for us to pick up the sounds we wanted, which threw us off our schedule a bit.”
Their classmates Oswald Gerald and Valerie Priya, both 19, took a merit prize for a video on Jing Jia Mutton Soup stall at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre.
The ceremony’s guest of honour Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said that hawker centres are to be treasured and maintained, as it is something that is unique to Singaporeans.
He said: “I think hawker centres and hawker food are an integral part of being Singaporean; all of us would have grown up in our favourite hawker centres. It is part of our identity, about who we are, so it’s something important to preserve.”
Watch the winning video here
For more on CEC students’ achievements, please click here