SG200? Singapore is older than you think

The nation's bicentennial celebrations next year is a good time to go beyond the 'founding myth' of colonialism and rediscover memories lost

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Colonialism's legacy is far-reaching and long-lasting, and historians have noted that many of today's present conflicts are the result of the workings of colonialism in the past. The manner in which vast swathes of Asia and Africa were summarily cut up, reassembled and brought under different forms of colonial rule has led to innumerable problems of nation-building for many a post-colonial state, and it can be said that the scars of the age of Empire remain visible still.

One scar that is harder to discern, but which runs deep in the scar of memory, is memories lost. It was an everyday feature of colonial rule that the colonial governments would erase the memories of the lands and peoples who came under their control.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2018, with the headline SG200? Singapore is older than you think. Subscribe