rests in how it touches people and communities, be it festivals, food or
traditions, passed down from one generation to another.
may not lie only black-and-white pictures or stored in museum display cases.
Sometimes, it comes alive through vibrantly colourful set and boisterous music.
The annually-held Singapore Heritage
Festival embraces the diversity of Singapore’s multi-cultural population,
whilst building cross-cultural appreciation and understanding. The festival
highlights key events and locations throughout Singapore such as the Sun Yat Sen
Nanyang Memorial Hall and Jewish Quarters in Bras Basah that shaped the country that we know of today. By
fostering a strong sense of national identity, it ensures that our roots will
never be forgotten.
National Heritage Board Act was revised in 2014, mainly to encourage public
awareness, appreciation and understanding of the arts, culture and heritage,
both by means of the Board’s collections and by other means as it considers
appropriate. Conservation districts have been set up around Singapore to
maintain the ambience and physical character of historic buildings. One such
district is at Emerald Hill and Cairnhill, which are historic areas situated
near Downtown Singapore. The preserved two-storey terrace houses built over 90
years ago showcases the former homes of wealthy Peranakan families in
Singapore’s early days. The preservation
of these buildings has since become a popular attraction for both tourists and
locals, seeking to understand the heritage behind these historic buildings.
may argue that the Singapore government values modernisation over important
heritage sites. With Singapore being the top investment destination in Asia,
older buildings are being taken down to make way for modernisation. The iconic
rainbow-coloured estate at Rochor Road was slated to be taken down to make way
for a new expressway. Despite receiving their notice to move out a few years
prior, residents were still reluctant to leave. “It has a good location, very
central. These are the most colourful HDB flats”, said 80-year-old Mdm Lee. The
Rochor Centre holds a special significance to Singapore’s heritage, which was
initially built to counter the poor sanitation in Singapore’s early days.
Regardless of its artistic merits, Singapore still aspires to carry on with
their development plans.