All Singaporeans are Experts in (Singaporean) Heritage


Singapore Chronicles: HERITAGE by Kennie Ting, published on 10th December 2015.

So here it is, my second book for 2015 – it is part of a commemorative series of 50 books called Singapore Chronicles, each book of which features a specific subject pertaining to Singapore – education, law, history, arts, diplomacy and the like – and it was one of the projects for the island’s 50th anniversary.

My book is titled HERITAGE. It provides an sweeping definition for Heritage in the context of Singapore, and then dives into a short (hi)story of heritage preservation and promotion in Singapore from 1959 (when Singapore attained self-government) till the present.  On the cover, is a representation of the former National Theatre, which was demolished in the 1980s.

The implicit premise of the book is that Singapore is rich in heritage, despite what people believe; and that all Singaporeans are experts, at least, in Singaporean heritage.

Here’s an excerpt that proves my point:

“Consider this: the average Singapore believes he or she is no connoisseur of heritage. My own counter-argument – and the implicit premise of this book – is that as long as he or she knows intimately the delicious fragrance, texture and taste of Hainanese chicken rice, or mee goreng, or roti prata, or any of those Singaporean foods we hold so dear; as long as he or she speaks any of our many languages and dialects (including our very own patois, Singlish), or worships at any of the many religious institutions we have on our shores; as long as he or she has grown up in even one of the many diverse places and precincts we boast of, with evocative names like Tiong Bahru or Toa Payoh or Ang Mo Kio or Bukit Time; then he or she is an expert in heritage; or at the very least in Singaporean heritage.”

To Singaporeans – each and every one of them a heritage expert!!

[The book is available in all major bookstores in Singapore.]


Boat Quay in the 1900s.

2 - Boat_Quay_Today

Boat Quay today.

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, Home, Landmarks & History, Singapore and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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