3/10/2012

Titanic and Singapore's Past


Museums take us back in time. They give us clues on how people came to be the way they are.

And that's where we spent most of our brief stay in Singapore. It was a bonus that seniors get a 50% discount and students (JR) are free. 

First stop was the Chinatown Heritage Centre, which houses a wealth of memories and untold stories of  migrants from China.

It traces the difficulties of the early settlers. The four evils—opium, prostitution, gambling, and drinking—that plagued the community are  presented so graphically the images had the power to shake us centuries after they happened.

Swinging to the opposite end of the spectrum, we visited the Peranakan Museum.  It shows remnants of an opulent lifestyle and traditions that are unheard of in this informal, anything-goes world today.

The Peranakans (Malay term meaning 'locally born') was a unique community of acculturated Chinese in Penang, Malacca and Singapore.

These affluent families, with a unique hybrid culture and customs, left behind a rich legacy of antiques, cuisine and language that are still part of Singapore’s living heritage.

Last stop was the “Titanic Artifact Exhibition” where we relived the grandeur and tragedy of the world's largest ship. It was held at the unusual, lotus-shaped building of the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

The exhibition features 275 artifacts recovered from the ship's wreckage. (Unfortunately, no photos were allowed here.) They are housed in galleries recreated to resemble iconic sections of the Ship. We went through key milestones in the Titanic's story—from conception, construction, and life on board.

“This exhibition has to have an iceberg!” Tony said while we toured the Class A quarters. “Otherwise, it isn't worth its salt.”

There was an iceberg! And there was a part where it simulated the sinking and underwater experience.

All told, the exhibitions cost us a bundle, but each one was worth its salt. The fun was great and  grace was free.

2 comments:

Yay Padua-Olmedo said...

I would have loved to see that Titanic exhibit. Kwento ka pa next time when we see each other for coffee.

Anonymous said...

It was nice and creepy.