Colourful World of Costumes and Cultures

August 14th, 2010   •   no comments   

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Check out Singapore HeritageFest these two weeks!

Feeling bored this weekend? Don’t!

There are tonnes of activities to do as the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) opens today, with a smorgasbord of 26 sports, culture & education, and outdoor activities awaiting. Other than the Marina Bay area which is teeming with free concerts and programmes starting today, you can also check out the various shopping centres like Suntec City Mall where the Singapore HeritageFest is happening.
This year’s Heritage Fest themed “What Brings Us Together?” is held in partnership with the YOG and stretches from 11 to 22 August 2010. There are hundreds of different activities sprawled across six shopping malls (I’m checking out Delicious Heritage at Tiong Bahru Plaza), the highly popular Expedition H tours, plus the grand finale (Heritage Sparkles in the City) from 20 to 22 August at SMU Green offering food, fun fairs, fabulous concerts, and free entry to the museums (21 and 22 Aug)!

I was privileged to attend the launch of the Singapore HeritageFest and witnessed the opening of Diverse Threads, One Humanity – an exhibition on traditional costumes at Suntec’s Tropics Atrium. In its 7th year running, this iconic cultural extravaganza attracts more than two million visitors each year.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
NHB’s CEO (aka my boss) giving his opening address.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Acting Minister for MICA, Mr Lui Tuck Yew (aka my big big boss) sharing his vision. I like how he spoke about heritage being encapsulated in the word “HOME” – “Ho” which stands for Hope and Hospitality, and “Me” which stands for Memories and Meaning.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Professor Tommy Koh (Chairman, NHB), Acting Minister Lui and Mr Michael Koh launching the event in a pinata-inspired confetti spewing contraption.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
The opening performance represented multi-cultural heritage through its fusion of various drums and percussion instruments…

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
…accompanied by dancers in brightly hued, ethnically styled costumes.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
They were accompanied by two rope dancers who awed the crowd with their athleticism and grace.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Don’t try this at home kids!

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Nor certainly this!

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
The climactic finish to the opening performance.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Next, its on to the global array of cultural costumes. Neatly arranged in alphabetical order, you can probably find most of the countries you recognise here.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
You can learn how some of them are made, like the Japanese kimono and yukata represented here.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
I hear that all the countries represented in the YOG have a costume here. Some of them like the Baltic republics states (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) and the Central/South American states like Suriname are probably less familiar to Singaporeans.

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
Can you recognise which countries these costumes hail from?

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
No prizes for guessing where these costumes – emblematic of fusion cultures – hail from!

Singapore HeritageFest Opening
One can never start too young in inculcating a love for heritage and culture. Let’s hope these young toddlers remain as enthusiastic in their latter years!

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