Checking Out Singapore Culture the National Museum

by Mar 14, 2019

Let’s go to the National Museum.

Anything to get out of this heat…

National Museum of Singapore tl;dr

  • Lion Dancing!
  • Very Cold Air Conditioning
  • Sometimes Free Admission

Everyone, whether they are aware of it or not, are apart of a bigger community and have a history all their own. Singapore, like many places, have dedicated institutions that document their history for all to experience and just maybe enhance their own ever evolving story.

The National Museum of Singapore is just such an institution. Through the use of actual historical items and technology they highlight the country’s story throughout time:

  • From their precolonial origins
  • To the time of British trade routes
  • Even a glimpse of Japanese occupation
  • Then to the chaotic Malaysian separation
  • And finally to the current modern day and all it’s many facets

I would go into the many different types of exhibits that they have available but we primarily came to enjoy their Chinese New Year festivities in the form of Lion dancing (and air conditioning).

Where Is It

Located at the North East corner of Fort Canning off Stamford Road, the National Museum of Singapore is in a building that architecturally exudes old English style, while the interior blends the past with the technology of present modernity.

Singapore National Museum Lion Dance 05


Lion dancing always draws Nadia’s attention. Be it nearby or over yonder, where ever she hears the unique lion dance drumming she will come a running; which means I’ll come a running too. Which leads us to the National Museum of Singapore for their Chinese New Year celebration with all the traditional lion dancing you could ever want.

There are many stories as to the origin of lion dancing ( I like the one about the monster Nian), but what it has ultimately come to represent is the driving away of evil spirits and the desire for good luck in the upcoming future. The practice split off into 2 styles:

  • Southern Lion Dance | More of the artistic representation of lions
  • Northern Lion Dance | More skill focussed akin to martial arts

Singapore National Museum Lion Dance 06

Whatever the case, Nadia simply loves watch the fluid movements of the lion bobbing to and fro to the beat of the Chinese drums and gongs. I have to admit that it’s quite hypnotic….

Till the kids, both big and small, force themselves through to the front.

Singapore National Museum Lion Dance 04Touch me for luck!

Singapore National Museum Lion Dance 02Very meta | I’m taking a picture of him taking a picture of them.

Singapore National Museum Lion Dance 03Are you looking at me?

So Much History

For a country that has been around for less than a century, Singapore has a lot to show for itself and a lot of it is housed in the National Museum. Though to be fair, there are a few other museums within Singapore that highlight certain aspects of Singapore, but the National Museum is the oldest of them all.

Singapore National Museum Interior 02Totally missed this hanging exhibit rushing in to find the lion dance.

Singapore National Museum ExhibitHow times have changed…

Singapore National Museum InteriorWhere past design meets modern architecture.

Singapore National Museum NadiaEither Nadia is admiring the crafts or getting an idea of what to buy next…

Something for Everyone

The National Museum is so vast that it has something to pique everyone’s interests. This guy, like myself, really appreciates the cold air conditioning. I suppose my constant yawning was contagious and he succumbed to it’s sleepy embrace. I almost fell asleep myself, till I was dragged away to further explore more of the exhibits.

Singapore National Museum Interior 03This guy loves this exhibit!

Enter the Rotunda of Light and Sound

I’ve been to this building before, but I’ve never entered the Rotunda before (usually you have to pay more to enter this exhibit). This dark and slightly eerie sanctuary of light, fauna and sound is all too enchanting; playing on all your senses. I’m not too sure, but there seems to be some sort of interaction in play between me and the electronic jungle before me.

Singapore National Museum Rotunda JMA downward ramp of light and sound leads me to who knows where…

Singapore National Museum Nadia 02Losing Nadia to the falling digital petals of time and space…

Singapore National Museum Rotunda 06Now it’s your turn…

Singapore National Museum Nadia 03Nadia is much more entertained by all of this than me.

Singapore National Museum Rotunda Nadia JM Till next time!

To the Future and Beyond

The National Museum of Singapore is a wonderful way to pass the afternoon learning about Singapore’s history and culture. Walking through all the exhibits combined with living in Singapore gives me a sense of creating history in some small fashion.

Who knows what the future holds?

You're going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.
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