Discover Singapore's hidden gems and lesser-known side by delving into the heritage stories nestled in the neighbourhoods.
My Community Festival, beginning today and ending on Dec 20, offers a refreshing take on local tourism and invites participants to follow everyday Singaporeans and participate in islandwide programmes that explore local cultures and traditions.
The festival features an exciting and varied line-up of 46 tours and workshops. "The My Community Festival is a unique celebration of our history and heritage," said the festival's director Kwek Li Yong. "We have placed tremendous focus on ensuring the programme will not only spotlight the lesser-known cultures, traditions and crafts of our community, but also serve as a platform for everyday Singaporeans to share personal heritage stories."
The festival is divided into six categories, with tours and workshops following the theme of each category: Makan My Curry: Step into the kitchens of 11 families and discover how they prepare traditional curries. After Hours @ My Community: Follow the unsung heroes hard at work while the rest of us sleep. Meet My Craftsman: Hear from traditional craftsmen as they talk about their craft and how they pursue their passion amid rising competition. Of Rites and Rituals: Visit places of worship. One Bean, Many Coffees : Visit different coffee shops and uncover the different ways to brew a cup of coffee. Open My Factory: Discover what goes on behind the scenes at local businesses.
Makan My Curry allows food lovers to taste exquisite curries and learn to make lesser-known dishes such as Eurasian kari debal, Sri Lankan Jaffna curry and North Indian katha kadhi. It aims to broaden people's understanding of other cultures through food.
Mrs Indra Iswaran, 71, will show how to make Jaffna curry at her home.
"My grandmother was from Jaffna," she said. "The place is surrounded by sea and we get a lot of fresh seafood such as crabs, prawns and fish. I loved eating the dishes my grandmother used to make when I was young. She used to make all the spice mixes and ingredients from scratch. The taste and aroma were incredible. I wanted to cook like my grandmother and learnt all the skills from her and my mother.
"I want to share the joy of making this beautiful curry with our community. We need to pass it down to the next generation and keep it alive.
"The different community groups in Singapore should know about the existence and beauty of Jaffna's food because you can't get this food here."
Visit www.mycommunity.org.sg to register and get more information.