The Red Headscarf Samsui Women of Singapore
by Pinky Toky
From 1920s to 1949, many Samsui women came to Singapore in search of jobs. Most of them worked in construction industry. Always adorned with red headscarf when working at the construction sites, they came to be known as Red Headscarf (or hong tou jin in Chinese). Most of their hard-earned money was used to support relatives back home. This caused many Samsui women to live in poverty in old age.