Museum offers glimpse of ‘real Singapore'
HA NOI (VNS)— An exhibition exploring the rich history and culture of Singapore is now open to the public at the Vietnamese Women's Museum as a fruit of a collaboration with the Singapore Philatelic Museum offering a unique perspective of the famous city.
Vanishing acts: The exhibition shows Singapore's disappearing trades, such as a street hair salon and the shop of a clogmaker. — VNS Photos Truong Vi
|Spices of life: A space at the exhibition shows spice grinders. Visitors have a chance to smell various spices which are used in Singaporean cuisine.
Visitors to the Explore Singapore - Colours of Heritage exhibition, which debuted on Thursday, can enjoy and ingest information about various aspects of the city including history, customs, people's lives and cuisine.
Tresnawati Prihadi, director of Singapore museum, said: "Our museum owns a heritage collection of stamps and materials relating to the post system".
"We're aware that stamps are not only used in lettering and also mark historical events and present architecture, specialities and cultural messages," she said. "Stamps travel all over the world and now, we want to help Vietnamese people ‘travel' to Singapore through this exhibition."
Stamps and postcards account for just a small part of this diverse exhibition, which also showcases many valuable objects, and Prihadi promises that visitors will enjoy the exhibition "with all their senses".
"People may think that going to a museum means looking at items in glass cases and frames, but we want to change the opinion," she added. "Visitors can see, touch, smell and taste our objects."
The exhibition, which is designed to give Vietnamese visitors a glimpse of the real Singapore, begins with a brief introduction and map of Southeast Asia highlighting the location of the city.
Celebrating the exhibition opening, Singapore Ambassador Ng Teck Hean said: "I have always remembered the simple joys I had as a child playing with glass marbles in the sand and walking beneath the roofs of shops. However, the impression of Singapore today would be towering skyscrapers at Marina Bay Sands."
"The Singapore identity is more than all that glitters in our city," he added. "In this exhibition, you will catch a glimpse of the country with our humble beginning, the multi-cultural and immigrant history and the stories of our forefathers. All of them are pieces of the multi-coloured quilt that makes up the country today."
The People of Singapore section features the early immigrants who gave Singapore a multi-cultural background, including who they were, why they came and their contributions. Images of early postcards of Singapore as well as costumes of ethnic groups are on display.
"Viet Nam owns 54 ethnic groups while Singapore has only five but each one of the groups has its own identity, custom, cuisine and festival," said Prihadi.
Visitors can also learn about vanishing trades in the interactive section, which features a traditional medicine hall, clog making and the spices used in Singaporean cuisine.
The exhibition is designed with large murals depicting a scene of Singapore today, offering a great photo opportunity for visitors to take candid shots with Singapore in the backdrop.
The exhibition also provides a range of activities for children and families to embrace Singapore culture through making paper Merlions, playing traditional Singaporean games, painting stamps, colouring deepavali clay oil lamps and trying on various Singaporean costumes. Children are divided into groups aged 4-7 and 8-12 to enjoy suitable programmes.
The exhibition runs until April 30 next year at the Vietnamese Women's Museum, 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. — VNS