Chinese Women’s Vegetarian Houses in Singapore

Marjorie Topley

Edited by Jean DeBernardi

in Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9789888028146
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206663 | DOI:
Chinese Women’s Vegetarian Houses in Singapore

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This chapter describes the Chinese woman's vegetarian house as it is in Singapore at the present time, and attempts to analyse the reasons for its existence. These organizations of vegetarians are formed with the object of providing board and lodging for unattached women who worship Buddha. Many of these women are without immediate family connections in Malaya, are unmarried and have nobody to care for them and nowhere else to go in their old age. The majority of these houses are formed to meet the needs of Chinese immigrant women workers. In addition, there are those which have grown up to cater for the needs of local born women; those who have no wish to marry, or who are lonely widows with nobody to support them, or, for various reasons, prefer not to inflict themselves on their relatives and friends.

Keywords: Chinese; women; vegetarian house; Singapore; vegetarians; unattached women; Buddha; Malaya; immigrant women

Chapter.  8373 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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