The Singapore HeritageFest is back again for three weekends starting from 29 April until 15 May. Over the years, Singaporeans have been embracing their history and heritage, and with this growing interest is an increasing number of young people who are among the heritage enthusiasts. So the 130 activities that festival has in store, organised with 120 partners (the highest number in the 13 years its been running), should get them all giddy with excitement.
The programme sounds pretty exciting, with food, music, film screenings, open houses and decentralised action in several enclaves around the island. Registration opens on 22 April at 9am at their website http://www.heritagefest.sg.
On the opening weekend on 29 & 30 April, the national museum grounds will be transformed to what it used to look like in the 1960s when hawkers lined those grounds. Fifteen 2nd and 3rd generation hawker will be setting up stalls there, while you enjoy music performances, outdoor film screenings, an exhibition tracing the evolution of Singapore’s radio broadcasting history, and listen to Malay and Chinese ghost stories. Get on board the storytelling van and hear tales about the iconic sites of Singapore’s past.
On the same weekend, Bukit Pasoh will also be closed off for a street party and outdoor performances, while historic clan houses in the area open their doors for the first time with various activities for the public, ranging from lion dances to guided tours and opera performances.
The second weekend (6-8 May) brings the festival to the heartlands. Among the many heritage and food trails being conducted that weekend is the new Bedok heritage trail via a guided bus tour, and an open house with performances by the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the majestic Command House. If you’ve never been there, this is a gem of a chance. Then there’s A-Go-Go Night at Kamplong Gelam, with a mini concert at the Malay Heritage Centre that pays tribute to the legacy of 1960s Singapore bands like The Siglap Five and The Quests. Drag Dad there and make sure he puts on his old dancing shoes.
The third weekend (13-15 May) brings the festival to Pulau Ubin, with music performances, and film screenings on the island.
There are simply loads more programmes across the island, such as a week of activities by the Hokkien Huay Kuan Thian Hock Keng, with movies under the stars, stiltwalking and dragon dances, (26 Apr – 1 May) and the first ever Eurasian Heritage Bus Tour, a heap of other cultural and historical tours focused on the different ethnic groups, and open houses and tours at temples and buildings you probably have not stepped into.
Check out details at heritagefest.sg
Some activities are ticketed or require registration, which starts on 22 April at 9am.
(Images courtesy of National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board)