Uncover Singapore’s best-kept secrets with My Community Festival this December

·4-min read
(PHOTO: Bee Amazed Garden)
(PHOTO: Bee Amazed Garden)

Think you know all there is to know about Singapore? Uncover hidden heritage stories and discover the lesser-known sights and sounds of the island with the inaugural My Community Festival (MCF), happening from 4 to 20 December.

MCF offers an authentic exploration into Singapore’s rich and multi-faceted heritage through specially curated programmes that explore local cultures and traditions. Through the eyes of fellow Singaporeans, participants explore and look into the often-overlooked gems in the neighbourhoods that they are familiar with.

With support from the Singapore Tourism Board and as part of the SingapoRediscovers campaign, MCF gives a fresh take on local tourism, allowing participants to take a look into, and be a part of the everyday lives of people in different cultural communities.

(PHOTO: My Community Festival)
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee (PHOTO: My Community Festival)

There will be 46 different community-led tours and workshops aimed at sharing with participants the lesser-known faces of Singapore. Led by local guides and members of the various communities themselves, it will span the following six programmes:

  1. Makan My Curry: Step into the kitchens of eleven local families and discover how they prepare the traditional curries of their respective communities. From the famous Singapore Curry Fish Head and Peranakan Ayam Buah Keluak to lesser-known recipes like Eurasian Kari Debal, Sri Lankan Jaffna Curry and North Indian Katha Kadhi, Makan My Curry offers the chance for participants to broaden their understanding of other cultures through food. Participants will also be able to make and eat their curry too.

  2. After Hours @ My Community: See our heartland communities like never before with after-hours tours that spotlight the unsung heroes hard at work while the rest of the country sleeps. Head to Changi Point – where bumboats will bring us to the rustic kelongs – and experience the fisherman in action. Or pay a visit to the funeral parlours of Toa Payoh and discover how different communities manage their deceased; and join any of the other tours to the heartlands for a refreshed perspective of our neighbourhoods.

  3. Meet My Craftsman: Hear from traditional craftsmen as they share more about their crafts and how they continue to pursue their passions amid rising competition. Gain new insights into age-old crafts like traditional joss stick-making, lantern-making, pottery, rangoli design and more through these hands-on sessions, which include an interactive element where participants can try their hand at the craft and acquire a new skill in the process.

  4. Of Rites and Rituals: Singapore is widely known as a multicultural hub, but how much do you know about our different subcultures or even the less heralded communities? Embark on a cultural exploration with Of Rites and Rituals, and visit the places of worship of these unique communities, such as the Chesed-El Synagogue, Baha’i Faith Centre and Central Sikh Temple. Participants will also get to appreciate the different cultural practices and enjoy a home-cooked meal for deepened cultural understanding.

  5. One Bean, Many Coffees: Coffee connoisseurs – and even everyday coffee drinkers – would enjoy One Bean, Many Coffees, a series of demonstrations that explore the different ways to brew a cup of joe. Uncover the differences between kopis brewed in traditional coffee shops like Nanyang Old Coffee and Ho Tit, and the more contemporary, modern options in cafes such as Chye Seng Huat Hardware or Foreword Coffee, and gain a renewed appreciation of these brews.

  6. Open My Factory: Travel to the far-flung corners of Singapore in a series of experiential guided tours to restricted-access locations and discover what goes behind-the-scenes of our local businesses. Highlights include tours to heritage businesses Cheng Yew Heng Candy Factory and Tai Hua Sauce Factory; Singpost Centre, where participants will discover the inner-workings of the mailroom; and the Heritage Conservation Centre, where artefacts in our National Collection are stored, conserved and prepared for exhibitions.

Chew Yew Heng candy factory. (PHOTO: My Community Festival)
Chew Yew Heng candy factory. (PHOTO: My Community Festival)

For those who want to experience MCF without leaving the comfort of their homes, there will be a selection of programmes made exclusively online. The online programmes include Zoom live-stream tours to the Pacific Light Power Station, after-hours tours of Toa Payoh, as well as flash virtual experiences, which will only be announced on the days of the tours themselves.

Registration for MCF programmes open now and tickets can be purchased via MCF website.