The Dark Shadow Shrine

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Leveraging culture for tourism

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An oft-cited argument is that while there are many different cultures in Singapore, tourists do not get a sense of the REAL, AUTHENTIC version, as the version on offer here has been mixed -- or even 'contaiminated' -- by other cultures, resulting in a diluted or even distorted version of the if u want to see Chinese culture, go China, not the Chinatown here; if u want to see Indian culture, go India, not the Little India here.
BUT this article shows how we can have something here in Singapore that the country of origin of the culture may not have. Not only does Singapore has the safety aspect that allows you to savour and enjoy the culture in peace without having the fear of being robbed or killed, but more importantly, we are able to show how the various cultures INTERACT and CO-EXIST with each other, giving rise to different 'fire works'.....It is THIS that contains appeal and interest to tourists, esp in our world today of inter-mixing due to globalization.....very few countries in the world would allow you the spectacle of a Buddhist temple, a mosque, a church and Hindu shrine all on the same street...This would have sparked off a riot and bloodshed in other countries.....
The Peranakan culture is an example of this, resulting from a fusion of Malay and Chinese culture -- something you don't get to see in China.

"After all, the Chinese aspect of Singapore's cultural mix cannot be more intense than China's, and so too for Indian culture. Why travel to Singapore to see an abridged version of oneself?....The answer is that China stops at China and India likewise. But Singapore places both cultures in a South-east Asian locale and shows how they can co-exist happily with others. This is what must appeal to the Sinic and Indic imagination: the sight of an island whose demography is inextricably Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian at the same time, because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The tourism agency must continue with efforts to showcase Singapore as a multicultural microcosm of Asia."

Qn: "It is beneficial to live in an ethnically diverse society." Do you agree?