RE•MIX 2k21: Fashion Design Competition25 September 2020 to 23 October 2020
Transformation and Construction of Chinese Culture and Identity in Singapore – A Bicentennial Overview
Event Date & Time
3 August 2019, Saturday | 2pm to 4:30pm
SCCC Far East Organization Auditorium, Level 9
Lecture will be conducted in Mandarin
This public lecture will present an overview of the transformation and construction of the culture and identity among the Chinese in Singapore.
When Singapore first opened as a free port in the early 19th century, it attracted migrants from China, South Asia, as well as the neighbouring Malay archipelago. Each immigrant group brought with them their respective native cultures when they settled down in their new chosen land. Such cultural heritage was essential as a resource to cope with the new environment. They went through a process of adaptation and adjustment that involved both the retention of the old and the transformation into new forms. Soon new cultural traits emerged, reflecting a fusion of both the culture of origin, and elements of new local (Singaporean) cultural features.
A parallel process of transformation took place in the construction of identity among different immigrant groups in Singapore. Historically the Chinese began with a “sojourner” Chinese (华侨) identity throughout the 19th and early 20th century. Meanwhile, what started with various strong dialect group identities was transformed into a predominantly Chinese ethnic identity from the early 20th century. It was only after Singapore’s independence in 1965 that a new Singaporean (Chinese) identity emerged in the process of nation building.