Saturday, 16 December 2006

What's with the Merlion anyway?

The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore, as used by the Singapore Tourist Board between 1964 and 1997 and is a made-up word from Mermaid and Lion. The creature with a lion head and fish body originates with the story of Sang Nila Utama, who saw a lion while hunting on an island, en route to Malacca. The island eventually became the sea port of Temasek, now Singapore.

These days, most people would know them from the various statues and/or fountains around the place. There are several, although the one now standing looking our over Marina Bay is probably the most well known and photographed. To be honest, I'm not sure why it was dropped by the local tourist board apart from noting recently invented legends or cultural icons tend not to last.

Note, I chose it as the basis of my pseudonym because of its local significance and it provides the level of anonymity I wanted for this blog. In other words, I wanted to be able to write freely without affecting my Google CV, an increasingly important consideration.