Nov 23 2013
Naiise celebrates our unique local identity and lively design scene, and rounds up our top 10 Singapore souvenir picks from local design brands.
From witty t-shirts with curiously local references to elegant tableware that reminisces iconic structures, these make meaningful and nostalgic gifts for overseas friends or even someone leaving Singapore for a long time.
“Bo jio” is a commonly used expression by Singaporeans to show jest resentment when they are left out of an outing or a special deal, for instance, “You went to watch Thor today? Bo jio!” This Bo Jio t-shirt by local T-shirt designer Statement is a witty and humorous conversation starter, and sure to resonate among Singaporeans.
Dialects were once commonplace among Singapore’s first migrants, but with rapid development, these native tongues are fast disappearing. This set of dialect books (Teochew, Cantonese and Hokkien) from Sibey Nostalgic make great gifts for local and foreign friends who want to learn basic dialect, and also serve as a great talking point to reminisce our heritage and the good old days.
HDB flats are one of the most iconic structures in Singapore and a symbol of our public housing policy. Designed by local designers as part of a collaboration between Democratic Society and Japanese porcelain company KIHARA, this set of HDB Porcelain Tableware makes an elegant gift and souvenir to remember Singapore by.
Like any cosmopolitan city, Singapore has tons of cool and hip spots, if you know where to look. This set of Singapore Streets Posters from Posterchild lists Singapore’s favourite hangout spots, and are great to look at on the wall. Available individually or in a set, these posters are a great way to remember Singapore’s bustling entertainment scene by.
Kueh tut is a traditional delicacy that many Singaporeans remember with fond memories as childhood treats. Though this rice flour cake confection is fast disappearing from our streets, they can now be had in the form this adorable Kueh Tutu Eraser from design firm FARM. This is a delightful, wallet-friendly gift that is sure to put a smile on faces.
“Kan cheong” is a Singaporean term used to describe a person who is always anxious and constantly on their toes. Nobody knows why spiders are “kan cheong” but chasing time and deadlines are indeed what many Singaporeans are familiar with. Designed by FARM, this Kan Cheong Spider Watch is a symbol of our unique culture, and makes a great Singapore souvenir.
In a city as rapidly developing as Singapore, change is probably the only constant. This limited edition Lost Monuments Poster by Michaal Lee remembers 100 lost Singapore architecture and also addresses issues of urban development and memory. This poster is a great gifts for history and architecture buffs, and adds a bit of cool to any room.
A common sight around Singapore’s plentiful construction sites, this sign warns of high voltage and danger in Singapore’s four national languages. This Danger High Voltage T-Shirt by local designer Statement is a fun reminder of Singapore’s every day sights and our multi-ethnic society, and make great wearable gifts for both men and women.
Nyonya kuehs are traditional delicacies and are well-loved by many Singaporeans. Kuehs are usually given away as gifts for overseas friends as well. For those travelling a little further and wishing to buy something more lasting, these Nyonya Kueh Sticky Notes are a great idea. Designed by FARM, these colourful sticky notes will brighten any desk.
One of the best things of living in Singapore is its high level of safety. This Suspicious Looking Article Tote Bag will resonate with anyone who has heard the public announcements to report “susupicious looking articles” on MRT train rides. Designed by Statement, this tote bag is both handy and a humorous reminder of daily life in Singapore.
Get more inspiration at our Singapore Souvenirs collection here! Design for everyone, for everyday.