The City State celebrates its less known heritage through an annual festival
THE SINGAPORE Heritage Festival (SHF) returns for its 16th year from Friday to April 7, with a special Singapore Bicentennial edition that will uncover hidden stories of this island’s history.
From Kampong Gelam and the all new Armenian Street Park, to Bedok, Telok Blangah and Kranji, festival-goers are invited to rediscover shared memories and experience places and stories anew, through a specially curated line-up of programmes, exhibitions and activities.
Festival-goers can take part in Discovering Singapore's Best Kept Secrets guided trails to visit historical buildings such as the old Changi Hospital.
“2019 is a special year for Singapore. As we commemorate our bicentennial, it is natural that as the heritage festival of Singapore, we tell the stories that have collectively brought us to where we are today.
“Our exhibitions and programmes, including our first ever island-wide bus stop exhibition, show that heritage is all around us if you know where to look. We have continued to partner with organisations, communities and fellow Singaporeans to uncover these lesser-known tales, and to re-discover places and stories and make the connections between our people and spaces,” says programmes director, Jervais Choo.
Across Singapore’s centre, Find Your Place in History light projections will tell lesser-known stories of forgotten places, communities and individuals who have made a difference in Singapore’s rich history.
SHF 2019 also expands its reach with its first ever island-wide exhibition, “Ride and Discover”, that re-imagines more than 100 bus stop across four routes as exhibition spaces, to examine the heritage of locations that might easily be missed on the daily commutes. Festival-goers can also embark on an immersive bus theatrical show, “Buses and Roads: A Bus Theatre Experience”, which will journey from the National Museum of Singapore to the Malay Heritage Centre and back. Passengers will be able to relive Singapore in the 1970s through the funny, entertaining and memorable interactions of a motley cast of characters.
Across the city centre, seven Find Your Place in History light projections also tell lesser-known stories of forgotten places, communities and individuals who have made a difference in Singapore’s rich history.
A fictional dramatisation “BlackandWhite Voyage” at Temenggong House will examine the history of Singapore as a trading port.
SHF 2019 kicks off its first weekend this Friday at Kampong Gelam and the new Armenian Street Park, with specially commissioned urban art installations by local artists dotting these historic precincts. Festival-goers can immerse themselves in the cultural performances at Rentak Budaya – a full-day cultural festival at the Malay Heritage Centre, and experience authentic Peranakan hospitality at the Peranakan Museum’s Armenian Street Party, its final event before closing for redevelopment on April 1.
A cultural festival at the Malay Heritage Centre reflects the city state’s cultural diversity.
The food culture takes centre stage during the weekend of March 22 to 24 with Makan Dreaming, a theatrical performance in the heart of the Bedok Hawker Centre inspired by the stories and lives of hawkers, guided food tours, and a privately curated Peranakan dining experience by local food writer and founder of Fat Fuku, Annette Tan. Festival-goers can also find out more about Singapore’s nomination of Hawker Culture to Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and pledge their support for the bid. Sharing the festival stage at Bedok is Balik Kampung, by Nam Hwa Opera and Nam Hwa Teochew Music Ensemble, |who will showcase the charms of Teochew opera.
During the third weekend from March 29 to 31, dive into Singapore’s maritime history at Telok Blangah, including a first guided tour of the Danish Seamen’s Church in Singapore, that will shed light on how the Danish community took root in Singapore, their contributions to the maritime heritage, and the history of its building, known as The Golden Bell Mansion.
Festival-goers can meet an eclectic cast of characters at Temenggong House at “A Black-and-White Voyage” – a fictional dramatisation of life in the historic building in the 1920s, which examines the history of Singapore as a trading port and its influence on the Telok Blangah area, through the lives of the house’s servants.
On the last weekend from April 6 to 7, experience rural bliss the Singapore way at the Kranji countryside and Sungei Buloh. Learn more about Singapore’s agricultural produce and its farm heritage by interacting with Singapore’s own farmers at Kranji. The farming community has put together Foodpass – a stamp-based, hop-on hop-off programme that festival-goers can use to explore the farms in and around the Kranji countryside, and get to know them better through hands-on activities and tasting sessions.
For the full listing of events on SHF 2019, visit www.HeritageFestival.sg.