Peranakan Heritage Tour
Ancestors and Religious Offerings
From Cane Furniture to Sweet Treats
Is this tour walking-intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible?
This tour is entirely on foot and covers a bit of ground. Singapore sidewalks are very accessible but there may be some steps to enter religious sites, and shops may be narrow for entry.
Frederik Rettig has lived and worked in Singapore since 2004, the same year he got his Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He has researched and published on Vietnamese soldiers and workers in the service of France and also co-edited a book on colonial armies in Southeast Asia. The region’s female warriors, heroines, and revolutionaries constitute another research area, most notably the Indian National Army’s women’s unit, which had its main training centre in Singapore’s old colonial district during the Japanese occupation. Married locally with two kids, Frederik brings his interests in human beings and their experiences to his tours. He believes that Singapore, at the crossroads between East and West and always at the forefront of modernity, is one of the best places to do so.
Jane Iyer’s love affair with Asia started on her arrival as a “wee lass” in Singapore (by boat!) in February 1963. A native Brit, life has ensured that she has boomeranged back to Asia - as a trailing teenager in 1970, followed by 2 stints as a trailing spouse from 1999, in the middle of which she sandwiched 6 years in New York City. She’s grasped opportunities to get involved, and sees her volunteer work with Friends of the Museums (FOM) as nothing less than life changing. She served as its President in 2003/4, has guided in 3 museums, coordinated the Explore Singapore! Team, led Study Tours to other parts of Asia and ran film and book groups. In 2015 she took the plunge to study to be a Singapore Tourist Guide and starting to set up regular tours following on from this. An excellent organiser and administrator, she’s a passionate ambassador for her adopted home of Singapore. Particularly interested in heritage and history, she is also a keen supporter of the performing arts.
Shanti is a Singaporean born and bred but her studies have taken her to the Paris Sorbonne and the Pushkin Institute of Moscow. In the 80s, Shanti was involved in the opening of Singapore’s private Peranakan Place Museum which showcased this unique, local culture. In the 90s, she worked alongside Singapore’s first Chief Minister, David Marshall in Paris. Apart from being licensed to guide in English, French and Russian, Shanti also speaks fluent Malay and Bengali. After having trained at the Urban Redevelopment Centre, the national urban planning authority of Singapore, she is now a docent at the Singapore City Gallery. Although Shanti is adept at many Singapore tours, she particularly enjoys lifestyle tours - from understanding urban greening policies to visiting hipster cafes in sub-urban neighborhoods; from strolling through a Singapore street festival to checking out hidden bars that use ingredients from their backyard.
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