The Newsletter 57 Summer 2011

‘Heritage’ and Singapore

Jayati Bhattacharya

The rapidly changing sky line of Singapore and its ever-increasing – and somewhat intimidating – concrete towers, apparently speak little of the nation’s tryst with the ideas of ‘heritage’. Though archaeological finds near Fort Canning reveal a fourteenth-century kingdom of Temasek, it is widely held that modern Singapore was the product of Sir Stamford Raffles establishing a port there in 1819. As a result, the heritage issues of Singapore revolve around the historical imprints of colonial times and various intangibles associated with events, ideas and memories of those times.