Picture this with me. Across the road, you have found the entrance to a museum. It is your first visit. Outside the museum, there are stalls crowded with curious shoppers, genuine shoppers of all ages. Stepping inside, the high ceiling hall is brightly lit filled with youngsters dressed in trendy clothing socializing with one another, all appear to be having a good time. But that is not the first thing you notice. In the center of the hall, at the reception area, a band is performing for the visitors. Lively music moves your feet. And you wonder: Is this a museum? Some watch the band’s performance. A line of human traffic constantly moving up and down the stairs on either side of the main hall that leads to different exhibition halls. And if loud music raises your eyebrows, once you walk into one of the exhibition halls, such as the special exhibition “Ramayana Revisited”, the volume of the live music fades away. Soon, the things that capture your senses are the artifacts and their descriptions. Old people, young people, not-to-old people, families, friends, and couples – all having a good time. And soon you conclude: What a lovely way to spend an evening at the Peranakan Museum.
Cynthia and I were invited for the museum’s open house event. We have been to a few events organized by the Singapore museums and this must be the liveliest of all. Before we got a chance to make our own bags (see photos below), we were greeted by Ms Barbara Fras, the Assistance Director of the Programmes Department who took the time to introduce the museum to the bloggers. Peranakan Museum may seem small but it has attracted 200,000 visitors a year, of which majority are from within Singapore. The museum does have an interesting cross-cultural collection of artifacts (part of the museum’s collection is now being exhibited in Paris) as well as a good line-up of fun events that prompt visitors to return. I think the make-a-bag session is a great idea. We get to keep the bags as souvenirs. What a lovely to keep a piece of our memory at home in a tangible way.
Peranakan Museum’s website can be found in here. The museum is located at 39 Armenian Street. You can check out the upcoming events at their website. To enjoy the discounted admission charges, you may wish to visit on Fridays between 7pm to 9pm (S$3 for adults). Below are some of the photos we have taken during the event.