Have you heard of the Singapore Book of Records? It is the Singapore variant of the Guinness World Record where it records national records and promotes local records in the global scene.
I scrolled through 144 pages in the Singapore Book of Records (SBOR) and whilst some are really impressive—like Joseph Schooling’s first Olympic Gold Medal—the bulk of them made me giggle in my seat for hours.
As we receive some good entertainment with these hilarious achievements, it reminds us of our Singaporean roots and also the pre-COVID days where we can gather in large groups. Out of the long honour roll, these are my top ten records that hopefully, leave you as incredulous as I was.
1. Most Number of People Eating Tangyuan Together
Tangyuan—glutinous rice balls with sweet fillings—are usually eaten by Chinese families during the winter solstice. The sweet dessert symbolises reunion which makes it more meaningful when family gather and eat them together.
Instead of gathering in our smaller nuclear families, 225 people came together at Fengshan Community Centre to eat Tangyuan in celebration of the winter solstice. This sets the record for the largest gathering of people enjoying these dessert balls together in Singapore history on 14 December 2019.
2. Most Number of Vehicles Doing A Simultaneous Tyre Change
Interestingly, our stoic Singapore Armed Forces have appeared in the Singapore Book of Records too. To celebrate its 41st birthday, 92 personnel and 41 vehicles “fall in” for a large scale tyre changing exercise—dismantling and replacing the tyres on all the assembled vehicles at the same time.
3. Fastest Time To Type A Tamil Text Message On A Mobile Phone
When typing English alphabets become too mainstream, let’s challenge ourselves to type a foreign language instead.
This event was organised by Mediacorp Tamil News to promote Tamil typing amongst its Tamil-speaking viewers. Mohanapriya Chandrasekaran emerged as the “fastest fingers” of the contest when she typed a 230-character message (including spaces) in 1 min 31 sec without a mistake.
Being a non-native of the language, I am clueless about the length and therefore, unable to quantify the speed. In the same vein, if I were to convert those characters to Mandarin, that would be equivalent to typing the Singapore Pledge in Mandarin four times in the same time!
4. Most Number Of People Doing Facial Cleansing At The Same Time
Face washing is a pretty private thing to do—we usually do it while bathing, or before bedtime.
Imagine 212 people at mass face cleaning event, not at the Ganges river, but at *Scape The Ground Theatre. This event was organised by The Himalaya Drug Company, which sponsored face wash and face mask products.
5. Most Numbers Of Pet Birds Released At The Same Time
Having a bird phobia since young, this is an event I will avoid at all costs.On 21 January 2018, several pet bird clubs and bird owners congregated at the Singapore Polo Club with their feathered friends to set a mass free flying record. A total of 64 pet parrots were released to the air temporarily.
I wonder how many birds flew and did not return but it is recorded that “there were a few that needed lots of coaxing before they returned to the owners”. This here is a true test of bird-ownership trust.
6. World’s Longest Bra Chain
Organised by Class 95FM, 79,001 used bras were collected over 5 weeks at different collection points nationwide. Subsequently, these bras were stringed in Sentosa to form a bra chain of 60.015 km length—longer than the length of the island of Singapore (50 km).
7. The Largest Plate of Rojak
In celebration of NUS Eusoff Hall’s 60th anniversary, the hall made the largest plate of Rojak with 104 kg worth of ingredients—cucumber, pineapple, mango, apple, youtiao, sauce, and roasted peanuts.
The rojak dish was selected to reflect and celebrate the diversity of the residents in the Hall, after which, the rojak feast was served to the students and staff of the dining hall.
8. First Person to Have Eaten at Every Hawker Centre in Singapore
Singapore is food heaven but who would have attempted to visit every Singapore hawker centre? Well, Austin Shiner has shown us his deep affection with hawker food. With every hawker visit and meal, he makes a detailed log to record his visit. On 19 August 2016, he finally made his visit to all 108 hawker centres in Singapore.
To commemorate this historical moment, 50 friends came along for dinner at his final stop—Eunos Food Centre—to congratulate him.
Whilst the 108 hawker centres were the total number of the hawker centre population back then in 2016, whoever is keen to break this record today has to hit the new number of 114 hawker centres now. Any takers?
9. Tallest Ice Kacang
What a privilege to bring one of our local favourite desserts into the honour roll. In celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee and to raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, chefs from Hotel Jen Orchardgateway came together to build a 3.1-metre ice kachang with 4,000 kg of ice. To any sweet tooth addicts out there, this would be an edible mountain to satisfy your craving.
10. Most Number of People Eating Chilli Together
Coming from the position of an ex-accountant, this made my hair stand a little. Organised by three accounting associations, 310 participants were gathered to set a new record for eating long red chillies. Needless to say, the theme is “Accountants are hot”. Any reaction from the floor?
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