A recent publication of an academic discovery has pushed Singapore's history back to 1,000 years, rather than the commonly accepted 700 years. This bicentennial year has encouraged fresh conversations about Singapore's ancient history from both official and unofficial sources. The Bicentennial Experience at Fort Canning alone drew more than 700,000 visitors. This accessible show boiled down 700 years of history into an hour-long, easily digestible multimedia experience. Its success shows that Singaporeans are becoming increasingly hungry to learn about their country's history and heritage.
Museums, too, have been putting together their own approaches to Singapore's history this year, beginning with the Asian Civilisations Museum's Raffles In South-east Asia: Revisiting The Scholar And Statesman. There are three other exhibitions that will continue into the first quarter of next year. The National Museum of Singapore's An Old New World looks at the 200 years preceding 1819, when the Dutch and British East India companies fought for supremacy in the region. At the National Library, On Paper: Singapore Before 1867 offers a treasure trove of paper trails - from the Anglo-Dutch Treaty to the wills of common people who came to this island as immigrants. Last, but not least, is the Indian Heritage Centre's From The Coromandel Coast To The Straits: Revisiting Our Tamil Heritage.