SINGAPORE - Go back 700 years into the country's history as the National Museum of Singapore reopens its three permanent galleries on Saturday after a year-long revamp.
The galleries, comprising Singapore History Gallery, Life in Singapore: The Past 100 Years galleries and the Goh Seng Choo Gallery, hold over 1,700 artefacts. These include the Singapore Stone which dates back to the 10th to 14th centuries, a full set of the first National Service uniform and a sewing machine used during the war.
The museum has also taken care to provide a more immersive experience for the visitors, said its director Angelita Teo. For example, there are mock-ups of a Housing Board flat in the 1960s and an opium den, commonly used by low wage workers in the 1900s.
To celebrate the galleries' re-opening, the museum is holding a weekend carnival where visitors can answer questions for traditional sweets such as kueh tutu, candied biscuits, and ice Popsicles. They can also play games such as guessing game tikam tikam or kick a chapteh around.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who opened the galleries and was given a tour of the revamp, said that the exhibits "sign-posts the road from Independence to First World with defining moments vital to Singapore's survival as a young nation".
"The National Museum revamp tells a more immersive story of our past with new insights, objects and presentation," he added. "It helps us time-travel... to the days of Temasek and Singapura, where orang laut (sea people), traders and fishermen who came from different places lived side by side to eke out a living."
Ms Pang Shi Min, who visited the museum on Saturday, said that she learnt a lot from her guided tour. The 28-year-old teaching assistant added: "I didn't know much about Singapore's history before Sir Stamford Raffles. The exhibits showed me how life in Singapore, which was just a fishing village in 1299, was like, and makes me even more appreciative of the luxuries we have now."
Admission is free for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents and visitors aged 6 years and below. The carnival ends its run on Sunday. Guided tours are also available. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.sg