#24 Peranakan Museum

My name is Kitty Sutcliffe and I would like to adopt the Peranakan Museum.

Street art outside the Peranakan Museum (Photography by Kitty Sutcliffe)

Street art outside the Peranakan Museum (Photography by Kitty Sutcliffe)

Tell us a bit more about yourself

I’m a travel nut, museum fanatic, spicy food addict, perpetual student and cultural interpreter.

Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
The Peranakan Museum is in Singapore, at the foot of Fort Canning Park. It displays the material culture of the Peranakan, the descendants of Chinese and Indian traders who settled in Malacca, Singapore and Penang, and tells their stories. There is a small entry fee, but on the day I visited there was free entry for females. The Museum is housed over three stories, in an old school building.

Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
This museum is cool and welcoming from the moment you arrive. It is not over-crowded with artefacts (as some ethnic museums can be), which all are thoughtfully interpreted to make it easy to understand the Peranakan culture, and its ongoing importance to Peranakan people in Singapore. Its exquisitely maintained, child friendly, interactive elements are thoughtfully presented and explained and there’s a fantastic ‘children’ section where you can take rubbings, colour in, or smell Peranakan spices (this 40 something child had a great time in there). The staff are helpful and friendly and enthusiastic about answering questions and explaining their culture. Lovely little cartoon Nona ladies take you around the galleries and help to explain the exhibits. On the day of our visit there were very few visitors, despite its easy access and fabulous air-conditioning!

Why would you recommend people visit?
After visiting this museum you realise how much the Perankan culture has influenced the city you are visiting, without you knowing it. It puts much of Singaporean culture into context. The Museum is packed from head to toe with beautiful objects: ceramics, textiles, wood work etc. It covers many aspects of the culture including daily household life, special occasions, weddings and funerals. My only regret was that I didn’t allow longer for my visit.

How would you sum up your museum in three words?
beautiful – illuminating – welcoming

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