Cultural enlightenment along Orchard Road

Peranakan culture has been receiving a little more love as of late, and with good reason. The idea of our early Straits Chinese community has always come shrouded in an air of oriental mystique, so it’s high time we started truly exploring the roots and rich heritage beyond just pretty kebayas and kueh pie tee. You can do some catching up at the current photo exhibition at the Peranakan Museum—or head down to this year’s Peranakan Festival to be in the thick of the action yourself.

After last year’s inaugural edition, the festival is back at Claymore Connect Mall through Jul 30 to help locals and tourists alike connect with the vibrant past of the Peranakan community. On the weekends, look forward to a variety of fringe activities taking place along the Orchard Road belt—from live demonstrations to cultural Joget performances, as well as cooking classes and tastings. A first-time pop-up exhibition has even been recreated in the likeness of a heritage Peranakan house, with life-sized photographs showcasing the actual interior decor and architectural design. Other highlights include a temporary Sungei Road-to-Orchard Road vintage flea market happening Jul 7-8, and kueh-making workshops Jul 21-22.

Unfortunately, high tea at the greatly beloved Peranakan Restaurant has sold out for the festival, though you certainly are welcome to head down anyway for a taste of other heritage foods. Coming up next are Itek Sioh and Nonya Mee next week (Jul 2-8), and a spicy Asam Busuh Periah and Sambal Udang Belimbing the week after (Jul 9-15).

The Peranakan Festival 2018 is happening now through Jul 30 at Claymore Connect Mall. More information here.