Peranakan festival and guided walks among community events to mark bicentennial

SINGAPORE - A Peranakan festival, an exhibition detailing Bishan's history from when it was called Kampung San Teng, and an exploration of how wedding customs across Singapore's racial groups have evolved since the 1920s.

These are among more than 40 activities being coordinated by the People's Association (PA) Grassroots Organisations from April 24 until August to commemorate the bicentennial in Singapore's neighbourhoods.

More than 200,000 residents will be involved in developing these activities.

Announcing the events on Monday (April 8), the PA said they provide "an opportunity to reflect on our longer history, the values of multiculturalism, openness and self-determination which have brought us through, and how we can move forward with confidence".

The Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) is supporting the activities, which also include heritage trails, concerts and dramas written and performed by residents.

Marsiling-Yew Tee residents are preparing a play based on the area's history while an exhibition will explain how Yew Tee, which means "oil pond" in Teochew, got its name.

Another exhibition at the Kebun Baru Community Centre, to be held from June 22 to 29, will take visitors on a journey through its rubber and rambutan plantation days. The area also used to house a Hainanese village and hosted Singapore's first grand prix, while some visitors may remember the Sembawang Hill Estate Taxi Service Stand.

 
 

The SBO, in collaboration with the five Community Development Councils (CDC), will also present a series of five Singapore Bicentennial Roadshows across the island. Each will have its own theme.

The series will kick off at the South East CDC on Saturday at Wisma Geylang Serai.

The Wisma Geylang Serai roadshow will focus on the different cultures and communities that have come together to build modern Singapore. It will also include a 700-year timeline of Singapore's history and storytelling sessions.

This first leg of the roadshow aims to engage more than 6,000 people living in the neighbourhoods of East Coast, Marine Parade, Fengshan, MacPherson and Mountbatten. The South East district is home to more than 550,000 residents.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, who is co-chair of the ministerial steering committee for the Singapore Bicentennial, said: "The Singapore Bicentennial is for everyone young or old, of any ethnicity or origin, from all walks of life to learn more about our long and rich history, including those of different districts.

"There will be fun activities for the whole family and opportunities to uncover personal connections with Singapore's history. More importantly, we can all draw inspiration for our future together as one people, one nation."