Monday, June 28
Malay Heritage Museum, Singapore
I sort of took it easy today, too. I just walked from my room at the Prince of Wales hostel in Little India a half mile over to the Malay Heritage Museum in Kampung Glam. Since the next country I'm going to visit is Malaysia, I thought I better brush up on it a little bit first. This is a small museum that traces the history of the Singapore Malays from their genesis as a seafaring people who traded with the Chinese, Indians and Europeans, and proceeds on through scenes of war and everyday life through the past several centuries.
Many artifacts--including books, clothing, jewelry, tools and weapons--are also included; as well as pop culture items from the mid-20th century like comic books, vinyl records, a newsstand and even a little movie set. Two lifesize dioramas depict a Kampong thatched roof house from a traditional communal village and a typical high-rise housing apartment of the 1960s, which symbolizes the Malays resilience at adopting to an urban multiple-cultural lifestyle. I ended the evening at Bugis Street, a huge market of food and clothing stalls. It's so crowded, it's hard to even walk through this place.