Wednesday, 18 February 2009

THIS WEEKEND - Museum Activities and Guided Walks

These Boots Are Made For Free Walks
In Singapore, the popular joke goes, you pay and pay. Take bus, pay. Take MRT, pay. Take taxi, pay even more. Well, walking is free. And it is good exercise that will give you beautifully toned legs.

So grab the chance to exercise your gams this Saturday (21 Feb) and discover more about our little red dot in the process, as the Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore) celebrates International Tourist Guide Day with free guided walking tours for members of the public.

Choose from three heritage walks, each lasting an hour, from 10am to 5pm.

 Roman Catholicism in Singapore: 
Do you know who established the first Catholic Church in Singapore? Take a stroll along Queen Street and your guide will share anecdotes about the area and its former residents. This area was once part of “European Town,” where children of different races attended the mission schools set up by the churches.

 Fame, Faith and Fortune in Waterloo Street: 
On Waterloo Street, you can still see some beautifully restored bungalows and the Sculpture Square once housed a Methodist church for the Straits Chinese community. See how a Chinese Buddhist temple happily coexists with a Hindu temple; here, devotees come to worship and seek guidance for the future.

 Hainan Kopi Tales: A considerable number of Hainanese lived in the Beach Road area where they proceeded to set up coffee shops and enjoyed a roaring trade. Appreciate the interesting design of the old shophouses along Purvis Street and find out more about the contributions of this group of immigrants.

Game? Put on your most comfortable walking shoes, slather on some sunscreen and head on down to The Plaza, Level 1, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street. You can sign up for walking tours on the day itself, from 10.00 am to 3.30 pm.

Check it out at: 
The Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore)
Tel: 63388659
Web site:

The Qingzhou Discovery Open House
If you haven’t yet managed to catch the Peranakan Museum’s star attraction, Serenity in Stone: The Qingzhou Discovery, this weekend would be an opportune moment to do so.

It is Open House at the museum on 21 Feb and 22 Feb, and visitors enjoy free admission to the exhibition along with a host of other scheduled activities.

The not-to-be-missed exhibition, which runs through 26 April, features rare sculptures from one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. Over 400 stone sculptures dating back more than 1,400 years were unearthed in Shandong province, China, in 1996. The 35 serene-looking sculptures displayed in this exhibition are among the best preserved of the items from the Qingzhou find, and are striking for their sheer size and exquisite workmanship.

Highlights this weekend include Chinese calligraphy and traditional printmaking demonstrations, Qingzhou-inspired stencil art and clay sculpture workshops, vegetarian cooking demos by well-known chef Samia Ahad of the Coriander Leaf restaurant and a performance of timeless Chinese classics by the NUS Chinese Orchestra Ensemble. (See detailed times and listings of events on museum web site.)

Meditation In the Museum
If a crowded exhibition, no matter how amazing, isn’t your scene, then consider this: The museum has set aside several Wednesdays for visitors to experience the calm of the gallery after hours. Meditate amid the sculptures and maintain your equilibrium after a stressful day in the office slashing corporate budgets, or a rambunctious day with the kids at home.

The hour-long sessions from 7.30pm, are conducted by Erika Khoo of Oasis Holistic, and secular in nature. There is a fee of S$5 per class, with each class limited to 20 participants. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a thick bath towel for sitting on. Register via the museum’s web site. (Meditation: Worry-Free Wednesdays: 25 Feb, 4 March, 11 March, 18 March)

Check it out at: 
Peranakan Museum
39 Armenian Street
Tel: 6332 7591


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