5/8/2015 1:02:14 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
Recognising the contribution of the Indian community to Singapore’s growth and calling it a “timely birthday gift”, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong inaugurated the Indian Heritage Centre.
As Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence, this year also marks 50 years of diplomatic ties between India and Singapore.
The four-storey building located at Campbell Lane in Little India, will open its doors to the public today. A series of events have been organised to showcase Indian culture and heritage.
Speaking at the inauguration, PM Lee said, “It reminds us of the importance of knowing our heritage, which anchors our place and our identity in a rapidly changing world.” The Indian community has been here since 1819 and over the years, has contributed to the making of Singapore, he noted.
"They came from all different backgrounds, as builders, businessmen, artists and they brought with them their customs, their skills and trades. They have left their permanent mark on Singapore. For example, much of Singapore’s early colonial architecture was built by Indian labourers – in fact, Indian convict labourers – including the Istana and the Catholic cathedral,” said Lee.
“And in our short 50 years as a nation, many notable pioneers have come from the Indian community,” naming S Rajaratnam – the person who penned the country’s pledge, P Govindasamy Pillai, an entrepreneur and other key members of the community.
In his speech earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office S Iswaran, who chairs the IHC steering committee said from the outset, the project was strongly endorsed by the Government, particularly the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
The opening ceremony was a glittering one with a special performance by a percussion troupe from Kerala, flown in by the Indian High Commission. There were also performances by the Singapore Indian Choir and Orchestra, as well as dancers from Singapore’s classical Indian dance schools.
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The centre features five thematic galleries that carry a wide array of artifacts from all over South Asia.
Visitors will also be treated to range of cultural programmes as part of the IHC CultureFest, which runs till end of May.
Some of the highlights include:
A Kaleidoscope of Carnivals: May 8 to 31, 2015 (Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays) ¾ Street Carnival: Art and Crafts May 8-10 (Friday, 4 pm–9 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 9pm)
StreetCarnival: TraditionalTrades (May 15 -17; 11 am–9 pm)
StreetCarnival:TraditionalGames (May 22- 24; 11 am – 9 pm)
StreetCarnival: FoodFair (May 29 – 31; 11 am – 9 pm)