Get High on Heritage!

July 18, 2007 Blog 21 comments


Back again for the fourth year in a row, the highly popular Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (SHF 2007) is a key event on our cultural calendar. Happening 18 to 29 July at Suntec City Tropics Atrium and multiple venues around Singapore, the theme of this year’s celebration – “What’s Your Story?” – looks at getting everybody to think about the memories, stories, traditions and cultures that make us Singaporeans.

Last year’s extravaganza attracted more than 1.1 million participants. With so many things to see, do and experience, there are no reasons why this year’s event can’t match that. For newbies to heritage, I recommend you to check out the 10 things that you can do at the festival.
Here are some snapshots of the official launch which I attended this morning.

An overview of the exhibition area at Suntec Tropics Atrium (Tower 2).

Guest Of Honour Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts giving his address.

In true heritage fashion, Dr Lee and NHB CEO Michael Koh cranked an old gramophone to launch the festival.

These three boys played a couple of terrific pieces on the tabla drums, guzheng and sitar respectively. What’s amazing is that the tabla and sitar were played by chinese boys while the guzheng was played by a malay kid.

The boys were joined later by a professional ethnic musical trio E-Tree and Maniam…

…followed by participation from the audiences. Oooh boy what a terrific din we made!

Later, I had the chance to catch the exhibit “Unique Memories, Unique Stories” at the festival hub.

Here’s a display of retro fashion from the past, complete with olden day drink bottles.

An old scout’s uniform handsomely displayed with badges to boot.

Nostalgia meets New Media with terminals sponsored by Acer. You can submit your stories to the My Story portal here and stand to win cash prizes.

Speaking of which you can learn about the evolution of writing from ye olde graphite pencils to …*gasp* iPhones!

Can you guess what these are? No, they are not edible sweets but a toy called kuti-kuti which we used to enjoy playing with.

“Let’s brush our teeth together now! Hold your toothbrush against your teeth and brush away from the gums….. 1,2,3,4,5,6…..1,2,3,4,5,6”

Here’s how we used to “tar pao” our lunch in the old days. Speaking of which I did blog about super efficient tiffin carriers before.

Aaaah…. “Four Seven Elevennnn… Ice Eau De Cologne”! I will never forget that advertising ditty…

And of course, everybody’s favourite must be this Milo Tin used to contain spare change in provision shops. An early example of recycling at work.

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


  1. the kuti kuti … ah! my childhood game!! I remembered the 4711 ICE too! I thot it was the coolest thing to have! haha!

  2. Nice post! I saw some exhibits being setup but didn’t know it was for this event. BTW, the sitar player and the Tabla drummer, I’ve seen youTube videos of them in action. But the sound quality wasn’t that good in the video.

  3. LOL, I wonder who still manufactures kuti-kuti! 🙂 As for ICE? it brings back memories of a neighbour who splashed on a bit too much of it all the time!

  4. ivan chew,

    What’s interesting about them is that they are brothers (I think) with Indian names even though they are Chinese. Youtube doesn’t quite do justice to most videos and music recordings unfortunately…

  5. shilpa,

    I believe I can still remember the scent of 4711 and ICE, which my parents used in the past (not now). Like its name suggest, it is very…tingling in sensation. The smell unfortunately is not quite to my liking.

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  7. I love the last few pix. The kuti kuti look so familiar…I just can’t remember when/where I’ve seen it before….:( (getting old)

    And brushing the teeth along the school compound little longkang reminds me of my pri school days.

    I always see the 4711 in my parents’. 😀 Seem to be able to make headaches go away. ;p

  8. Thanks for the pictures Walter! I was wondering whether to pop by Suntec specially for this exhibition. After reading your post, I’m convinced that I should!

    Love the kuti-kuti! I’m gonna buy them (at the ACM probably) just to relive my childhood memories.

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