The Unique Singaporean “Code” Of Reserving Seats With Tissue Paper!


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See an empty table? Quick! Lunge!

Empty tables ‘reserved’ by packs of tissue paper are a common sight in Singapore.

To outsiders, it might seem like a very odd and annoying practice, but it has become part of the national culture.

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Auntie Lucy, a typical Singaporean, is out with her baby Mike when she feels the rumbles of hunger. She then stamps the table with a pack of tissue paper to mark her territory. She is the epitome of the Singaporean term ‘kiasu’, often used to describe those who are paranoid about losing out.

She proceeds to do the same with the various dishes that catch her fancy. But when she actually needs tissue paper for the purpose it’s meant to — she has none!

Moral of the story: “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” Or?

Watch ‘Tissue Hussle’ by Geraldine Toh Yih Jia (Singapore) on Viddsee:

‘Tissue Hussle’ was shortlisted for the 16th TBS Digicon Animation and Film Awards in Singapore.

Here’s another short film on civic consciousness, ‘Cane’ by Jung Si-young (Korea), about a blind woman’s tragic day in the city

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