March 16, 2015

The Afternoon at the National Museum of Singapore

Museums are a great way to learn about a country's history. 

Which is why I was looking forward to visiting the National Museum of Singapore, located just a short walk from Dhoby Ghaut station, right by Fort Canning (for those of you who know Singapore...I think it's a park?).

I love how it says on their website that they are "Singapore's oldest museum with the youngest and most innovative soul," because it's true. The museum was both historical and modern at the same time. Their design game was spot on.

R and I had a quick bite to eat before heading to see the exhibits. There was a photography gallery but what I was excited to see was the Singapura: 700 Years exhibit that had opened the day before, in celebration of Singapore's 50 years of independence.

I knew that Japan had occupied Singapore for a time (well, I read it in a Japanese travel guide for Singapore and it said that it could still be a sticky subject so be humble...which is not bad advice at all). But other than that, I had no knowledge of their history so this unique exhibit allowed me to see how Singapore grew from a small village to the financial capital of Asia that it is now.

We had just gotten past the first couple of sections and R says to me, "This is so nice how peacefully this country has evolved," referring to Ancient Singapore and the British Colonization that made Singapore an international port. Then we turned a corner to see the section on the Japanese occupation during WWII and he turns to me and says, "Oh."

Yes, oh. Well, you know it's never the greatest feeling seeing your country's not-so-proud moments in the past. thought is, the more you know about it, the less the chance of repeating it in the future. It's more sensible not to shy away from the past. 

Looking through the visual gallery of scenes during the occupation, watching the short documentary video of interviews with the Singaporean people who lived through it, and reading the facts and data regarding the gave me a sense of what those 3 years of suffering through Japanese occupation must have been like for the people of Singapore and it once again confirmed my belief that nothing good ever comes from war. 

The following sections were just as interesting, displaying photos of post-war Singapore and another section on how it led to an independent Singapore.

I think this exhibit was the perfect way to learn about Singapore's history and get a feel of how the country has evolved. It had the perfect amount of information in each section, giving you just enough to be curious and want to learn more on your own. Not to mention how visually appealing all the displays were. I really loved this exhibition.

And if you're really into it, you can always take the quiz at the very end that tests your knowledge of Singapore's history!

Do you like learning the history of other countries? Do you go to museums?

(photo by R)

93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
TEL: +65 6332 3659
HOURS: 10:00am-6:00pm
FEE: Exhibition fee for non-residents 6.00SGD

March 14, 2015

The Quote By Wu Hsin


I just stumbled upon this quote this morning and it was just what I needed today.

It's from a book called "Aphorisms for Thirsty Fish" by Wu Hsin, the work of a mysterious Daoist in ancient China. No, I've never read his book (although I have now downloaded a sample on my kindle and put in on my find-in-a-bookstore list), but it was featured on my new favorite tumblr, The Highlights of My Day.

Being in that current season of change when winter turns to spring, with an old fiscal year ending and stepping into a new one, having to look back and set new goals, my head tends to be full of what-should-I-do's and what-do-I-want's. Not to mention the am-I-good-enough-for's.

I've always been a worrier, especially when it comes to things out of my control. Which is ridiculous because those are the things that you can least prepare for by worrying. And when I look back on changes in my life, it always comes out of nowhere and I am actually quite adaptable (must be that nomad upbringing). So that's even more reason not to worry.

But sometimes I do anyway.

Maybe I'm stubborn that way. I don't know. But this quote has reminded me that yes, there are better things to think about than myself. So many things to be thankful for and to look forward to during this season of change.

So I think I'll just empty my thoughts and just enjoy the beautiful spring day today!

What kind of thoughts are in your head lately? Are you a worrier?

This is why I walk to work...blooms everywhere! x

March 12, 2015

The Some No Komichi 2015 in Nakai

Local festivals are the best!

Which is why I was once again at Some No Komichi this year, celebrating the art of traditionally dyed fabric. (2013 post here.) This year I was scheduled to help out in the mornings so I invited my friend M to come out in the afternoon.

As this event showcases traditional kimono fabric, many people come wearing their own kimonos. Walking around Nakai during this event, you can almost imagine hat the old streets of Japan were like. I love it.

But for people who don't have their own to wear, the vintage kimono and goods shop Gallery Sakura provided rentals for anyone who wanted to spend a day in a kimono. They also provided experts to help you wear the kimono (because it's pretty hard putting it on your own). Isn't that great?

M and I decided that we wanted in on this kimono day, so we made reservations. There were so many different patterns and colors of kimono that it took a while to choose!

I decided to go with a hakama, which I haven't worn since my university graduation. It's half kimono but with a skirt-like wrap around your waist. It basically means you can run while wearing it (which is almost impossible in a regular kimono). M chose a beautiful vintage kimono.

We had a great time walking along the River Gallery and doing a little shopping around the Street Gallery. And with so many people with cameras ready to take a photo of the event, we had no problem finding people to take photos of us. Most of them knew how to use my camera better than I ever could. Ha.

Despite the last day of rain, an estimate of over 12,000 people came to see Some No Komichi this year. It's so exciting to watch this event grow each year and I've loved getting to know the local businesses and discovering new shops through this event. I'm already thinking about what kind of kimono I want to wear next year!

Have you been to Some No Komichi? Would you wear a kimono?

Looking forward to next year! x