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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 26 May 2006

Singapore HeritageFest 2006


National Heritage Board unveils exciting programmes for Singapore HeritageFest 2006
This year¡¯s festival provokes thought and offers an alternative platform to discuss the question of Identity

12 - 23 July 2006

The National Heritage Board (NHB) today unveiled what Singaporeans and visitors can expect from Singapore HeritageFest 2006.
Focussing on the theme of Identity, and with a tagline, ¡°What Makes You, You?¡±, the festival promises to provoke thought and debate on the question of identity through specially-curated exhibitions, cultural performances, a forum, heritage-based treasure hunt and community trails.
Held from 12-23 July 2006, the festival will engage everyone young and old, local and foreign, to explore what makes them unique.
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 ¨C personal, family, ethnic and group communities, national and global.
Said Mrs Lim Siok Peng, Chief Executive Officer of National Heritage Board and Chairman of the Festival¡¯s Steering Committee, ¡°We are excited about this year¡¯s festival as it will explore a topic that is very close to all our hearts. We are always grappling with who we are and what makes us unique at a personal and national level. But the festival offers three other aspects of identity to further complicate the soul-searching process! We hope that our visitors will start their own personal discovery journeys after they have taken part in the various programmes and outreach events we have organised for them.¡±
Unlike in the past two festivals, the festival this year promises to be different on many fronts.
One new feature added to the festival is the inclusion of natural heritage and there will be specially organised trails to two of our nature and heritage-rich parks, Labrador and Kent Ridge Parks, where participants can come up close and personal with some of the most exciting flora and fauna found in Singapore.
Said Miss Karthigesu Thangamma, Director of Public Education at NHB and the Festival Director, ¡°Including aspects of our natural heritage was important as places also form part of one¡¯s identity and they also contribute to a people¡¯s shared history, heritage and memories. We have ignored the importance of our natural heritage for a long time and we are very pleased to have the National Parks Board partner us this year on this exciting collaboration.¡±
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.
And finally, the festival has also engaged the various ASEAN communities based in Singapore to showcase their ethnic performing arts. This will also highlight the identity that Singapore has as part of the ASEAN family.
Miss Karthigesu summed it up by saying, ¡°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 who 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.
- Festival Events/Highlights

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