Synopsis

Who and what led us to where we are today? Are we shaped by our location as a port within tropical Southeast Asia? Or our past as a British Colony? Maybe the policies of independent Singapore? One thing is for sure: geography, economics and politics have all had a hand in creating the Chinese Singaporean identity as we know it. Here you’ll explore the many “hows” behind the making of our Chinese Singaporean culture.
Pick just one way to describe yourself. Isn’t it difficult? It is just as challenging to describe ‘Chinese culture’, a way of life that has been passed down through the centuries. It includes inventions like paper and the compass, as well as the wisdom of influential thinkers such as Confucius and Laozi. It is further complicated because key aspects of Chinese heritage come from cultural exchange. Explore how some of the common values shared by the Chinese are passed down through the observance of key festivals and in daily life. Open the doors and windows in this zone for surprises!
What made Chinese Singaporean life so multi-cultural? As early Chinese migrants interacted with one another, and adapted to a new environment in Singapore, they started to create language, food and customs that were different from those back in China. Find out how some of the familiar language terms and dishes are results from interactions between the diverse ethnic and dialect group cultures in Singapore. Learn how these influences goes beyond our food and into our daily conversations through a kopi making game and a food projection table!
The influences that shaped Singapore also had an impact on the creations of Chinese Singaporeans. From its migrant beginnings, Singapore has become one of the most diverse societies in the world. As a city-state, it is also one of the most globally connected places in the world. This has resulted in Singaporeans who are open to different ideas, languages, religions, lifestyles and points of view. Rooted in Chinese heritage, but shaped by life in a multi-cultural nation-state, the Chinese Singaporean has developed unique perspectives. Whether in the arts, food or popular culture, they are not bound to a fixed way of looking at the world. Their creativity is unlimited. Explore some of these amazing Chinese Singaporeans and their creative outputs here!
Within a remarkably short time, Chinese Singaporean culture has travelled the world. Perhaps you’ve heard JJ Lin’s songs in China or visited the Old Chang Kee in London for a taste of its famous Hainanese curry puff. Our music, plays, books, television and films have captivated many, and led our talents onto the international stage. Our food is equally globe-trotting. If all the world’s a lazy susan, the next generation of Singaporeans awaits their turn in the spotlight. Enter this futuristic zone and see a conveyor belt transporting familiar brands and individuals around the you. These products and individuals have enriched international culture and made us proud.
Look back on our key milestones. From a rich heritage to vibrant cultural exchanges, and the various policies that shaped our society, these were our big moments. Explore our digital timeline to find out more.

Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre © 2020

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