Wednesday 19 October 2011

The Karung guni man

Since moving to our new home, I have been wondering why a truck comes down the street a couple of times a day, announcing his presence by blowing his air-horn.

According to wikipedia "The practice of Karung guni is common in Singapore.  Its practitioners are a modern form of "rag and bone men" that visit residences door-to-door.  They make visits in carts, collecting old newspapers and other unwanted items.  These will be resold at specialized markets and eventually recycled or reused.  "Karung guni" is a Malay phrase for gunny sack, which was used in the past to hold the newspapers.  The karung guni men would haul the heavy sacks on their backs as they walked their rounds to do the collection".

This photo was not taken by me.

"These people can be distinguished by their use of horns or hand bell and shouts of "karung guni, poh zhua gu sa kor, pai leh-lio, dian si ki..." ("Rag and bone, newspapers and old clothes, spoilt radios, televisions" in Singlish and Hokkien) when making their rounds.  Depending on the person, a nominal fee is paid for the quantity of newspapers or unwanted items sold".

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