The statue in front of Chinatown heritage is dedicated to a group of Samsui women in Singapore.
They are a group of mostly cantonese women from Samsui (means three water) province in China to travel to Singapore during their teens or mid twenties to work on construction sites in the early 20th century.
Some came here to work to escape poverty in China while some came here to gain independence.
Samsui women worked on construction sites alongside with the men. Their trademark being the red headgears that they wore. There was another group with blue headgears from Sun Yap another province of china but they were few compared to the Samsui women.
Most of them lived in cramped shophouses in Chinatown and most of them vow not to marry and usually tied their hair in a bun. They choose to work in hard labour rather than to be prostitutes.
The following is a newspaper cutting(from the Straits Times) few weeks back about a late Samsui Woman. You may pity her for picking up cardboards to sell but she is one independent and proud woman to accept any help from the government. There are many who are like her and share her attitude. Today there are about less than 100 of them still alive and they are in their 80s and 90s. They are being cared for by the Samsui Association in Singapore.
This is a restaurant advertisment with the Samsui Woman as its icon. The owner's grandmother is a former Samsui Woman. The signature dish for this restaurant is the Samsui Chicken.
The Samsui Women saved and ate very thrifty in order to remit monies back to their home in Samsui, China. During Chinese New Year, they would steam a chicken and dip in shredded ginger marinated in some stock and seasame oil. Today that chicken is known as Samsui Chicken.