This anthology serves to bring awareness, provide identity and uncover historical anecdotes of Singapore through the eyes of the Gurkhas. It should also serve as an important visual archive of an invisible community. 

Having served over two decades of their lives in this city, their attachment and memory — as well as their wives and children — of Singapore is still raw.

Those who arrived in the 50s, 60s and 70s spoke bazaar Malay cheerfully as it was the language used by all races in the early years of modern Singapore — a language used by our parents and grandparents.


They remembered the turbulent early years, in quelling riots and strikes that were widespread in pre-independent Singapore. 

They remembered walks along the Singapore River — passing by Raffles Place, the old Treasury and Henderson bridge as they observed the rapid transformation of the city skyline.

Their memories and their stories, if not collected, will be forgotten.

In remembering these Gurkhas — our Gurkhas, in fact — is to give them a place in Singapore's history.

 'Our Gurkhas' exhibited at the 2012 Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival.

'Our Gurkhas' exhibited at the 2012 Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival.

The stories (of the Gurkhas) thread together salient episodes of our country’s history. Through the eyes of (ex-)Gurkhas from thousands of miles away, these oral stories bring into sharper focus men who are living testimonies to the history that has shaped multi-racial and modern Singapore.”
— Hema Kiruppalini, from book's introduction
It is, therefore only timely and appropriate to acknowledge that a foreign photographer and storyteller like Zakaria Zainal, a repeat visitor to Nepal, has done something solid on a native subject that is largely neglected in its native nation itself.
— Peter J Karthak from ‘Gurkhas at large in Asia’, My Republica