Singapore Public Officers As Deepavali Snacks

It’s said that life is like a box of chocolates, but what if the Public Service were like a box of mithai, or Indian sweets? Challenge imagines public officers as a festive spread on Deepavali.
Public officers are reimagined as sweet and savoury snacks this Deepavali.


The vadai, a savoury fritter, is a humble everyday snack that is also enjoyed during important festivals like Deepavali. The public officer version is similarly down-to-earth and adaptable, as adept at coaching younger ones as they are advising senior management, and equally happy to work quietly behind the scenes or as a public-facing officer.

A public officer who has a down-to-earth personality reflects the humble and savoury Vadai.

Ras Malai

The new blood in the workplace. These officers are like soft milk dumplings that soak up rose-infused milk syrup like a sponge – ready to learn and take in new work cultures and practices. Add some grit by sprinkling constructive feedback – the pistachios and saffron topping – to round out the officer.

Fresh and new officers are much like Ras Malai; they soak up new information and adapt to new cultures quickly.

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Gulab Jamun

Round, rose-scented, and extremely fulfilling – what’s not to love about this “rose berry” snack made of fragrant deep-fried milk solids? Similarly, this officer is the jolly, lovable one in the workplace, always ready to brighten up any work meeting or lunch outing.

A jolly public officer is much like the sweet and tantalising Gulab Jamun.


This officer may seem a little rough at the edges, but every workplace needs a tough personality to keep things running well during crunch time. These officers can be found at all levels in the office hierarchy, just like murukku can be shaped into flower coils, figure-eights or even short ribbons as part of a kacang puteh mix.

Although rough around the edges, these public officers are tough just like the versatile Murukku.


As a public officer persona, the ladoo may seem like she has a hard shell, but she is soft and sweet once you get to know her. A veteran in the field, this officer is a motherly figure and often shares her wisdom from her years of experience. But like any mama, if you get on her bad side, she’ll give you some tough love that’s as strong as her cashews and cardamom.

The popular ladoo is a snack that is hard on the outside, but soft and sweet in the middle, just like a public officer persona who exudes tough love.

Make Your Own

Each snack above has its wide range of varieties and flavours. The nutritious ladoo, for example, can be rolled with jaggery (cane sugar) and chewy sesame seeds or soft coconut. Learn how to make the sesame seed ladoo with this simple recipe.

What’s your favourite Indian snack?

    Nov 12, 2020
    Ryan Ong
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