Millennium Post

Recalling history

Recalling history
<div>Singapore opened a window on the celebrated hybrid culture of Peranakan Chinese settlers by holding an exhibition for the first time in India at the National Museum with its President Tony Tan Keng Yam emphasising the importance of holding such events to enhance and deepen bilateral ties.</div><div>“Such an exhibition promotes a better understanding of Singapore’s multi-racial communities and how they form the core of its identity,” Tan said, while inaugurating the one-and-a-half-month-long exhibition, The Peranakan World -- Cross-cultural Art of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca.</div><div><br></div><div>He noted that the two countries share administrative, and judicial systems even today. “India has a profound impact on the culture of Singapore,” the President said, and revealed that the Southeast Asian country would be hosting an India culture festival this year and open an Indian Heritage Centre as well.</div><div><br></div><div>The Peranakan exhibition is part of Tan’s first state visit to India to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Peranakan Chinese are descendants of southern Chinese traders who settled in Southeast Asia and married local women. Their culture is rooted in Chinese traditions, but with strong influences from Southeast Asia and Europe. &nbsp;Peranakan art in this exhibition reflects the diverse influences of Indian, Chinese, Malay and European cultures that were fused into a distinctive style.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>With 122 objects from the 1912-founded Peranakan Museum, supplemented by loans from collectors in Singapore, the exhibition, which runs through March 25, gives a fascinating account of how Chinese immigrants married locally, developed new hybrid forms, and created a unique culture in their new homes in Southeast Asia.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The objects at the exhibition date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and depict four themes: Chinese sources; influences from the Malay world and the Indian Ocean; the response to Europe; and the role of Peranakans in shaping modern Southeast Asia. A major component of the exhibition is the Peranakan jewellery. For Peranakans, jewellery is an important cultural marker, a treasured heirloom, an indicator of social standing, and often part of a bride’s dowry.&nbsp;</div>
Next Story
Share it