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Friday, 23 August 2013

The Story behind the Merlion of Singapore: Read the legendary tale

Singapore and the Statue of Merlion are synonymous with each other. One cannot separate them from each other. Statue of Merlion is a huge pristine white statue in the form of a lion and a fish. While the lower half of the statue is that of a fish, the upper half comprises of that of a lion. Hence, the name Merlion is a marriage between a fish and a lion (quite akin to a mermaid). Tour packages to Singapore always incorporate at least one such statue in the itinerary since the Merlion Statue is iconic and symbolic to the country for more than one reason. There are 5 Merlion Statues in Singapore and it would be a matter of shame if you come back without visiting even one.



The story behind the Merlion is quite intriguing and absorbing. The statue was designed in 1964 by one Fraser Brunner. There is a legendary tale which goes with the incorporation of the lion in the statue. Legend has it that there was one traveler named Sang Nila Utama who spotted a lion when he was hunting on this isolated island during his voyage to Malacca. He had then christened the island as Temasek (which later was renamed as Singapore).


As for the fish, it is a creature which is in the roots of the culture. For a long time before Singapore became the wealthy nation which it is today, it was a small fishing hamlet where fishing was the sole means of occupation. So, the presence of the fish and the lion in the Merlion Statue is an appropriate tribute to the country and its tradition.

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