Building the future of our heritage, one neighbourhood at a time 

Over the years, we have heard the word ‘heritage’ being brandished around quite a bit, especially after the beautiful Botanic Gardens joined the ranks of the big leagues to become our first UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

But what is heritage, and how does it differ from history and culture? In essence, heritage is the memories we want to preserve for future generations. Through a collection of artefacts and buildings, traditions and places, heritage is personal and nostalgic to each individual. But as shared recollections, it becomes the soul of our Singapore story, central to our place in the world and our identity as a nation.  

With so much at stake, it is no surprise that heritage is no longer confined to a backseat in policymaking. Following the success of the first heritage masterplan in 2018 (which saw the elevation of hawker food as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity), version 2.0 was launched last week as the new road map for the heritage and museum sector over the next five years. 

Turbocharging our heritage 

Like a software update,  Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0  builds upon our previous achievements in bringing heritage to the masses. Powerful in vision and ambitious in scope, the plan will feature efforts in four new areas (Identity, Community, Industry and Innovation) to turbocharge our relationship with our heritage.  

As Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong has  noted, there are many things to be excited about in this new chapter of Singapore’s heritage development.  

At Petir.sg, here are some of the things we will be on the lookout for.  

  • Celebrating our neighbourhood heritage with street festivals, guided tours and workshops through the Heritage Activation Nodes (HAN) initiative. The first HAN will take place in the Katong-Joo Chiat area next year, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for us.  
  • A design collection focusing on the works of contemporary Singaporean artists, architects and other creatives. For those into fashion, check out the exhibition tracing the journey and inspiration of Singaporean fashion designer Andrew Gn at the Asian Civilisations Museum.  
  • A new and improved Armenian Street, soon to be transformed into a precinct for crafts, creativity and pop-up stalls.  

In the end, we ask ourselves, why heritage? The answers are numerous. But the most important one is probably this – in an increasingly fractured and polarised world, our shared heritage will always remind us that we are not that different after all.  

Photo Source: NHB/ Edwin Tong via Facebook