PRESS RELEASE What Makes You, You? The Singapore HeritageFest 2006 – 12 Days of Journey to Discover Your Identity **This year’s festival provokes thought and offers an alternative platform to discuss the question of Identity **
Singapore, 12 July 2006: Beginning from now till 23rd July, the Singapore HeritageFest 2006 brings you on a 12-day journey to discover your Identity. Our tagline this year, “What Makes You, You?”, is brought to life through a series of specially-curated exhibitions, cultural performances, a forum, heritage-based treasure hunt and community trails, all of which promise to provoke thought and debate on the question of Identity. With activities to engage everyone young and old, local and foreign, the festival, which attracted more than 900,000 participants last year, offers something for everyone to discover more about their own Identity. The festival this year will explore how an individual views his or her identity and how each person takes on a different identity at different stages of his life. Identity is explored at five levels – personal, family, ethnic and group communities, national and global. Said Professor Tommy Koh, Chairman of the National Heritage Board, “For the first time this year, we are not prescribing the correct answers. Instead we are asking questions to set everyone thinking about our identity and challenging everyone to reflect about ourselves and what makes us the unique individuals we are.” Unlike in the past two festivals, the festival this year promises to be different on many fronts. One new feature added to the festival this year is the introduction of science in the exploration of our heritage. Said Miss Karthigesu Thangamma, Director of Public Education at NHB and the Festival Director, “There is a misconception that heritage is about the past and that it is stagnant. We hope to dispel this impression about heritage and highlight the science, value and dynamism in it through our various programmes. For example, our DNA is also our heritage and we explore this not only in our exhibitions but also through a public talk and other outreach events.” Another new feature is the launch of a pilot community trails project in collaboration with Central Singapore Community Development Council. It will be launched as part of the heritage hunt, Fun on Foot, Heartlands Singapore! and this will be the first time that the series is visiting the heartlands. A third new feature in the festival this year is a forum on Identity that aims to engage people to discuss how they view themselves through the various aspects of identity. Miss Karthigesu said, “Singapore HeritageFest 2006 will be thought-provoking; it will ask questions about what defines you which you may never have thought of. At the same time, it
is a celebration of our multi-cultural heritage, its diversity and commonalities and it will take you to visit places and people you never knew existed!” “There is something for everyone. Even the youth are coming together to put up a drama production for their peers. Instead of history and nostalgia, our visitors will encounter heritage as something that is living and constantly evolving, something that is very dynamic” she added. Singapore HeritageFest 2006 comprises events and activities held in various locations. The key components are: Festival Hub @ Suntec (12-23 July 2006, Tropics Atrium and Galleria Foyer, Suntec City Mall) The Festival Hub @ Suntec, the pulse of the festival, is where visitors would be able to obtain information about the festival and its programmes, register for the various outreach events and also view the specially- curated exhibition, “YOUnique !dentity”. “YOUnique !dentity” provokes self-discovery through exploring how we define ourselves as an individual, as part of a family or ethnic community, as a Singaporean, and as a global citizen. Accompanied by video interviews and multi-media programmes of Singaporeans sharing their stories and their own journeys to find out more about their identity, the exhibition adopts a personal, story-telling approach featuring individuals’ accounts relating to identity. Interactive elements include devices for visitors to scan their thumbprints and retina and bring home the printouts. A DNA booth explores how although we may differ in terms of physical appearances, we have more in common than we think. There will also be a showcase of seldom-seen cultural performances by our local arts and Singapore-based ASEAN groups, as well as cultural troupes brought in by the Malaysian High Commission and Tourism Malaysia and the Mahakaruna Buddhist Society of Singapore and Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritages, Sri Lanka. The Festival Hub includes Kids’ Zone, a dedicated space for children with another specially-curated exhibition just for them. This will also explore the theme of identity but through the eyes of young children. The exhibition is complemented by dramatisations of ASEAN folktales and clay sculpture activities. Fun on Foot, Heartlands Singapore! (22 July 2006) In 2005, Fun On Foot attracted 2,300 participants to compete in a treasure hunt set within the city and western parts of Singapore. This year, Fun on Foot is back with a difference, bringing participants to places off the well-beaten tourist tracks. Participants would have to pick up clues, solve puzzles and play games, while experiencing the architectural, culinary and cultural gems hidden in the heartlands, hence the name for this year’s hunt, Fun on Foot, Heartlands Singapore! This competitive treasure hunt is open to everyone, with three categories (Educational Institutions, Open and Corporations) catering to teams of all ages and configurations. Participants would not only be able to spend time with family and friends, but also stand a chance to walk away with goodies as well, with attractive cash prizes for the winning teams and a lucky draw.
Fun on Foot, Heartlands Singapore! this year will also coincide with the launch of a pilot community trails project by the NHB and the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC). Expedition ‘H’ (15, 16, 22, 23 July 2006, various parts of Singapore) Expedition ‘H’ presents nine new guided tours showcasing rare facets of Singapore. Participants would get to see, eat, do and learn about things they normally would not experience, such as rare insights into Singapore’s flora and fauna, history and legends, minority communities and faiths, and original locations of popular local foods. Other components of the Singapore HeritageFest 2006 include a Forum on identity titled ‘Excuse Me, Will The Real Singaporean Please Stand Up?’; and a special youth drama Where I Belong written by, and starring 80 students, expressing their take on identity and belonging. More information on the festival components can be found in the attached factsheet or via the festival website
For more details on these and other parts of the Festival, please contact: Adeline
About National Heritage Board The National Heritage Board (NHB) champions the development and promotion of a vibrant cultural and heritage sector in Singapore. It makes heritage enriching, relevant and accessible to all through staging innovative programmes and forging collaborative partnerships with both private and people sector counterparts. NHB leverages on state-of-the-art technology and refreshing new approaches to make heritage more dynamic, alive and exciting for different audiences. It also manages both national and public museums, the National Archives of Singapore, and the Heritage Conservation Centre. NHB was formed on 1 August 1993 as a statutory board under the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA).
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