In the early 20th century, many businesses sprung up in Little India to cater to the growing Indian population in Singapore. These garland makers, goldsmiths, tailors, and shops selling saris, spices and other provisions from India flourished, and some have even become household names today.
The rich experiences of these businesses are being celebrated and documented through the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) Street Corner Heritage Galleries scheme, which will be launched in the Little India precinct on 28 January 2022, with eight participating
Under this scheme, NHB works closely with interested owners of heritage businesseswith at least 30 years of history to co-curate and co-create “mini-museums” at their premises that showcase the history and heritage of their businesses and trades, accompanied by
historical documents, photographs, artefacts, etc.
Street Corner Heritage Galleries: Little India will feature eight heritage businesses in the precinct: Jothi Store and Flower Shop, Ani Mani, Thandapani Co Pte Ltd, SIS Premium Meats, Haniffa Textiles, Ananda Bhavan, Komala Vilas and The Banana Leaf Apolo. (Pleaserefer to Annex A for full write-ups of participating businesses).
The Street Corner Heritage Galleries initiative is part of NHB’s ongoing efforts under Our SG Heritage Plan to strengthen partnerships with communities, and raise awareness of and foster a deeper appreciation for heritage in everyday spaces. It is a three-year pilot
scheme which was first launched with five heritage businesses in the Balestier precinct in March 2020, followed by seven heritage businesses in the Kampong Gelam precinct in April 2021. The scheme will subsequently be rolled out to two other historic precincts – Kreta Ayer/Chinatown and Geylang Serai – by 2023.
In a nutshell, the scheme provides curatorial support in terms of research and content development, and funding support for the fabrication of showcases. It also provides funding support for heritage businesses to present programmes such as talks, tours and workshops, and provides them with opportunities to participate in NHB’s signature events such as Singapore Heritage Festival.
Mr Alvin Tan, Deputy Chief Executive (Policy & Community), NHB said: “With the launch of this new batch of galleries, we hope not only to expand our networks of “minimuseums”, but more importantly, to showcase the interesting people and stories behind heritage businesses in Little India and to document how they evolve, thrive and grow over the years to become the household names they are today.”
Please refer to Annex A for an introduction to the eight Street Corner Heritage
Galleries in Little India, and Annex B for the list of artefacts. Street Corner Heritage Galleries:
Little India can also be explored on https://go.gov.sg/schglittleindia
For media enquiries, please contact:
Jamie Choy Soe Honey Cho
Tate Anzur Tate Anzur
6568 9147 8885 0753
About the National Heritage Board
The National Heritage Board (NHB) was formed on 1 August 1993. As the custodian of Singapore’s heritage, NHB is responsible for telling the Singapore story, sharing the Singaporean experience and imparting our Singapore spirit.
NHB’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the shared heritage of our diverse communities, for the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding. It manages the national museums and heritage institutions, and sets policies relating to heritage sites, monuments and the national collection. Through the national collection, NHB curates heritage programmes and presents exhibitions to connect the past, present and future generations of Singaporeans. NHB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Please visit www.nhb.gov.sg for more information.