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Indian Heritage Centre exhibition on ‘Our Indian Forefathers and their Trades in Singapore’ – May 2nd, 2012

Indian Heritage Centre (IHC), under the Heritage Institutions division of the National Heritage Board, which has been scheduled to open in 2014, traces the history of the Indian and South Asian Community in the Southeast Asian region.  National Heritage Board that promotes cultural and heritage sector in Singapore was formed as a statutory board, under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Arts (MICA).  NHB, Singapore, stages innovative programmes and makes heritage enriching, relevant and accessible to all.

In line with its strategies, National Heritage Centre (IHC), on the 11th Arpil 2012, launched its second community exhibition entitled ‘Our Indian Forefathers and their Trades in Singapore’.

The modern Singapore was founded when Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore in 1819.  History says, he was accompanied by 120 Indians, then.  Since then Indians have been contributing to the development of modern Singapore through their various trades.  At that time, Indians having arrived from different parts of India with different socio-economic background, were not a homogeneous group.  Hence that brought a diverse array of customs, tradition, culture and different trades. Indians ranged from coolies to business people.  What ever their occupation be, most of them are regarded as pioneers in that field.

Some of them had established themselves in the Little India area as the fertile land then there was conducive for cattle rearing.  Little India caters to the needs of the Indians.  Hence, it not only attracts locals but also tourists at  large.

Now, anyone in Singapore will be delighted to get a glimpse of the Indian forefathers trades in Singapore.

The exhibition from April 11th to July 17th 2012 will feature standees on display throughout the Little India precinct, Market Street and Arab Street.  The 16 featured trades and professions will include garland makers, plantation workers, chettiar moneylenders, goldsmiths, parrot astrologers and snake charmers.

To make it comprehensive and relevant, in the possible areas, the standees are kept next to to-day’s practicing tradesman, for a better understanding of the nature of the business in the past and the present.  Public are also offered a weekly guided tour on Saturdays from 21sst April to 14th July 2012.

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