Special Exhibition, Cerita and the Malay CultureFest at the Malay Heritage Centre

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Cerita, meaning ‚Äústories‚ÄĚ in¬†Malay, will shine the spotlight on the stories and narratives of life in the Nusantara (Malay¬†Archipelago) before the Malay Heritage Centre closes its doors for a revamp.

Venue: Malay Heritage Centre
Date: 29 Jan - 31 July 2022
Admission: Free

Located in the heart of the bustling Kampong Gelam precinct, the Malay Heritage Centre has functioned as a vital focal point for the Malay community in Singapore since its official opening in 2005. Since reopening in 2012, the Centre has organised many exhibitions, festivals and programmes to "share stories", offer new perspectives and connecting communities.

The Cerita special exhibition, a retrospective showcase of the stories the Centre has told, complements the Centre’s annual Malay CultureFest, which will feature an assortment of performances, workshops and forums held both onsite and online.

Cerita - A Collection of Stories Over The Decade

Featuring new artefacts alongside highlights of past exhibitions hosted by MHC over the years, Cerita will indulge both returning and new visitors with two curated galleries: Kita (Gallery 1) and Me-reka (Gallery 2), both of which aim to inspire new insights and perspectives on Malay culture and heritage. The special exhibition will showcase over 80 exhibits, including artefacts from the National Collection, as well as loans from international institutions and various community contributors.

Casting a fresh lens on the local Malay Community, the Kita gallery (meaning "us" in Malay), will provide an understanding of the interconnectedness, and therefore influence, of communities in the Nusantara on Malay culture here in Singapore. Through a selection of exhibits that highlight the everyday life, customs and traditions of the Malays, families can better understand the Malay history and better appreciate the stories that the Malay community have to tell.

The second gallery, Me-reka, which means ‚Äúcrafting‚ÄĚ in Malay, will focus on¬†the diverse cultural influences of the Nusantara and thereby spotlight¬†the ingenuity of early craftsmen in contributing to a rich legacy of material culture, some of which¬†are still in use today. Featuring artefacts that showcase unique craft traditions ‚Äď from writing to¬†textiles as well as food and music ‚Äď of the Malay world, Me-reka hopes to convey the stories of¬†communal heritage, identity and histories of¬†the community.

Children's Mission Pack

Families who visit during this period will also be able to collect a free mission pack for the kids to have fun with! Inside each pack are 5 mission cards with riddles that will bring you to 5 artefacts in the exhibition. Solve the riddles and find out what is Agent Laila's Nenek (grandmother)'s occupation. 

Behind each mission card are mini-quests to add to the fun. The Mission Pack comes in both English and Malay. 

Malay CultureFest - A Celebration of the Evolution of Malay Culture in Singapore

Spanning three weekends from 28 January to 13 February 2022, Malay CultureFest 2022 will take the stage with on-site and online activities that celebrate Malay culture in Singapore. The Malay CultureFest complements the themes of Cerita with a focus on honoring the past while providing a means for present-day expression.

Some of the festive highlights are listed below

In Celebration of Sri Warisan at Taman Warisan

Venue: MHC Auditorium
Date: 29 January 2022, 8 pm
Admission: $20 (Ticketing)

This performance will showcase Sri Warisan‚Äôs journey¬†at MHC since 2002, which was the beginning of the pre-opening of the Centre. In 2005, Sri¬†Warisan was the ‚ÄėResident Performing Arts Group‚Äô and performed at least three cultural shows¬†daily.¬†

Sri¬†Warisan will be performing historical songs such as ‚ÄúCitra Bangsa in Kampong Gelam‚ÄĚ which¬†showcases the history of immigrants who came to Kampong Gelam, as well as ‚ÄúLestari seni di¬†Taman Warisan‚ÄĚ, a grandure royal dance and also a song used to welcome guests and tourists¬†who came to MHC with the use of Cembul Emas (translation) props, which is coincidentally the¬†element used in MHC's logo.

Bangsawan Workshop

Venue: MHC Auditorium
Date: 13 Feburary 2022, 3 pm
Admission: $5 refundable deposit (Ticketing)

Bangsawan is a type of traditional Malay opera or theatre accompanied by music and dance. Participants can practice their flair for acting and learn various character archetypes found in the traditional Malay Bangsawan at this immersive workshop experience.

Lintas Nusantara x Silat: Balada Nusantara (Online)

Venue: MHC Facebook Live
Date: 30 January 2022 (Showcase #1), 4 February 2022 (Showcase #2)
Time: 8 pm
Admission: Free

The 10th installation of Lintas Nusantara is a love letter to silat ‚Äď an ancient martial art form¬†practiced across the Nusantara. Explore silat‚Äôs influence on dance in the region through¬†magnetic performances.

Showcase #1

  1. Pajaga Makkunrai, Malkassar: Performed by Ida El Bahra Arts Management feat. Daeng Serang Dakko and Guru Tenri
  2. Galuik Kumango, Jakarta: Performed by Benny Krisnawardi and Sigma Dance Company

Showcase #2

  1. Dauliti, Singapore: Performed by The Kaizen and Seri Setia Pulau Singa
  2. Silat and the Bawean Community: Featuring Persatuan Bawean Singapura and Sanggar Seni Dharma Pasuruan

Venue and Ticketing

The special exhibition, Cerita will be held at the Malay Heritage Centre from 29 Jan to 31 Jun 2022. Admission is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. 

The programmes of the Malay CultureFest will run across 3 weekends from 28 Jan to 13 Feb 2022. There are both online and onsite programmes and fees may apply accordingly. 

You may visit the Malay Heritage Centre website for more details. 



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This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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