"My mother and I ran as fast as we could as we fled from the burning houses," Seah said. "There was a stampede. The older and weaker people were carried by younger and stronger ones."
The Bukit Ho Swee fire left four dead and thousands homeless and is one of those moments in Singapore's history where most people alive at the time remember where they were when they learned about the massive blaze.
Other memories focus more on Singapore's rapidly evolving culture, including one e-book focusing on the traditional games children played, arranged by clicking on alphabet letters made to look like children's blocks. Another e-book covers the playgrounds that have been swept away by the city-state's rapid development.
Ruth Ann Keh, 17, and two of her fellow students compiled the memories of people living in the Rochor Centre complex that is slated to be torn down in 2016 to make way for a new expressway. Many residents have lived there for decades, and neighbors were like family. One resident told Keh the story of a birthday party some boys held years ago on an open deck, and how all the neighbors came down.
"What struck me the most was the sense of family," Keh said. "All the people I talked to mentioned the bond. Now, you don't know your neighbors. It's not as it was before. But it is possible to have a sense of neighborhood. It's just a matter of making time."
Sharon Ng recalled fond memories of growing up watching her grandmother use a bucket instead of a cash register at the Kian Guan sauce factory.
"Inside, my father, uncle and one hired worker would sit on small stools or on the floor, hard at work six days weekly making chilli, tomato and soya sauces, bottling them and tying the bottles expertly with thin rope-like twine in packs of six or 12," Ng wrote in her Singapore Memory Project post. "Grandma sold sauces at the ground floor shop while the rest were sold to other businesses. All her takings were kept in an iron pail on a pulley. She just pulled the rope down, put in the money and the pail went up."
A generation's gift
Singapore's Memory Project is about a country getting personal with itself, and project director Tan said most of the posts are "very emotional."
"There's a lot of longing in all the memories -- longing and attachment to people who are gone, places that are gone," he said.
But he said there's also celebration about the stability that Singapore enjoys today.
"There's a great sense of relief of where we are today," Tan said.
In the process, the Memory Project staffers say, they are learning things about themselves that they never expected. They thought the project was about talking to others, about something external. But they've realized that documenting Singapore's history is about them, too.
"We started out with a lot of arrogance," Tan explained. "We started with an intent to hack into other people's memories. What's humbling is there's nothing to hack into, but only things to discover."
Singapore is a young country that has packed more history into its few years than most others. But in a place where most everyone came from somewhere else, the Memory Project is helping define what it means to be Singaporean.
It is bringing texture to the life of the nation, endowing a diverse people with a common identity, a way to look forward together. The submissions also make for astonishingly interesting reads.
"This is the gift of our generation," Tan said. "History is not just for the leaders. It's about random people, too."