A Community of Memory

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A community of memory – Masjid Ahmad Ibrahim volunteers. Photo: Author (original photo by Masjid Ahmad Ibrahim)

In the most general sense, a community is a group of people with something in common. The Oral History Association pamphlet Using Oral History in Community History Projects offers a more detailed definition: “The term community encompasses nearly every kind of human group conceivable, from a family to political, cultural, occupational, or religious organizations whose membership is far-flung. Whatever its size or constituency, a community consists of individuals bound together by a sense of shared identity.” (p.28)

Extracted from Introduction to Community Oral History (Quinlan, MacKay & Sommer, 2013).

A community of memory is one whose sense of shared identity is connected to a “common knowledge base” or a common life experience, such as (pictured above) a group of volunteers in a particular organisation or maybe members of an ethnic community with a shared sense of origin and experience.

One of the questions that I seek to answer in my research is this: To what extent is there a Pakistani community in Singapore?

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