Four master craftsmen and artists will be recognised annually from next year under the National Heritage Board's (NHB) The Stewards of Singapore's Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Award. The acknowledgement comes with a $5,000 cash award as well as the opportunity to tap a $20,000 project grant to promote and transmit knowledge and skills. This is a good first step towards preserving elements of Singapore's cultural heritage.
Under Unesco guidelines, ICH does not include just inherited traditions but also living practices by various cultural groups. In Singapore, where pragmatism has often taken precedence over tradition, some cultural practices and traditions have fallen by the wayside and become less common in the past decades.