Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chinatown Heritage Centre Part 1

It's the school holiday, so I brought my niece to visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre. I used to pass by this centre each time I shopped at Chinatown but did not get a chance to go in. So this is my first visit to the centre. Wondering what's interesting exhibits it holds.

Outside the centre is a statue of a samsui woman, she represents a group of chinese immigrants who came to Singapore in the 1920s to seek job in the construction industry.

Coming to Singapore as cheap labourers, Samsui women worked mainly in the construction industry and other industries that required hard labour. They also worked as domestic servants. They had a reputation of rejecting jobs involving drug (particularly opium) peddling, prostitution, or other vices, even if that meant they sometimes had to live in poverty. They made a lot of contribution to Singapore's early development mostly by building houses and some of them worked at hawker centres mending the stalls there too. You can read more about them from wikipedia.

Saw this panel with all the chinese surnames, flip each panel to read the origins and history of the surnames and the provinces which they came from in China.

This particular surname Lee and his full name is Lee Dai Soh is a familar figure with the older generations of Singapore cause he is a very famous cantonese story teller on radio and rediffusion.

This miniature junk is a replica of the bigger junk which most chinese immigrants came to Singapore from China in harsh conditions. My both sets of grandparents and my father were also among these immigrants.

Young immigrants easily led astray by the four evils.



Opium Smoking


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