Heritage Stories I: Heritage & Conservation

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Heritage & Home.

Our heritage is profoundly moving and these are stories that are deserving to be told on a global scale.

- Yilin Choo, Founder and Head Designer

 
 

Heritage is culturally important as it defines who we are and why we believe in what we believe. Cultural heritage has a deep importance to who we are and shapes us into what we are. Our heritage and culture is what gives us faith, will and hope. There's no unit of measurement to figuring out what defines us but there's a journey to be taken in finding out who we truly are, and becoming who we are meant to be. Our heritage is the pivot to pointing us in the right direction because our heritage shapes our beliefs and aspirations. Our heritage is where our stories begin.

This issue we embarked on a journey to find out what heritage and conservation means to different people. 
We dug a littler deeper and explored some heritage hotspots around Singapore to bring you the first part of our Heritage Stories.

 
 
 

What does Heritage mean to you?

 
 
 

C h i n a t o w n

 
  Chinatown Singapore (image credit above: livinginsingapore.org)

Chinatown Singapore (image credit above: livinginsingapore.org)

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It's important to remember our roots.

"I’m happy to see more young people growing to appreciate the Cheongsam. It’s important to remember and pay homage to tradition, culture & heritage. It’s so important to remember our roots."

- Rui Xian, 23, Mama & Misse

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T i o n g  B a h r u

 
  Tiong Bahru Singapore (image credit above: expatliving.com)

Tiong Bahru Singapore (image credit above: expatliving.com)

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Heart and soul.

"I would love to pass down my recipes to my descendants. I think taste is a very special sense – you may have Alzheimer’s but you can still have the ability to remember the taste of traditional cooking. I think ultimately, you must always have passion in whatever you do and be prepared to pour your heart and soul into it." 

- Mr Cheng (owner), 60s, Cheng's @ 27

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Our culture, heritage, and dialect.

"I think what constitutes to a large part of our identity is definitely our culture, heritage, and dialect. The most important thing I’ve learnt from my elders would be the importance of instilling the values of being hardworking and having integrity."

- Glenn, 34, Cheng’s @ 27

 
 

L I T T L E  I N D I A

 
  Little India   Singapore (image credit above: thechromologist.com)

Little India Singapore (image credit above: thechromologist.com)

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Heritage and identity.

"Heritage and Identity go hand in hand, it’s brimming with culture, heritage, and history. Working in Little India helped me reaffirm my heritage and identity, it also exposed me to different festivals that take place here that I wouldn’t have been originally privy to. What makes Little India, Little India, is the environment. The architecture and neighbourhood has been so well preserved."

- Vani, 19 (right) Employee, Indian Heritage Center

 
I think one thing that transcends race and culture is food. Food is universal yet subjective to individuals’ taste buds. I once saw a Chinese man eating Thosai with his hands and dipping it in dahl, he looks so satisfied with his meal and I felt a strange sense of pride and happiness. Thumbs up to him.
— Avtar (top middle), Employee, Indian Heritage Center
I wish Little India had more activities that engaged other races. I think the common misconception is that events in Little India is limited to Indians – it’s really not and it would be amazing to see people from all walks of life enjoying these events together. I’m incredibly proud of my culture.
— Diyanah (top left), 22, Employee, Indian Heritage Center
 
 
 

J o o  C h i a t

 
 

Joo Chiat has always been home for the Choo Yilin team because it was where the brand started. Heritage being one of the core tenants of our brand DNA also meant that Joo Chiat was the perfect option, given how the neighbourhood is synonymous with Peranakan culture. Joo Chiat is a symbol for the soul of the brand – the significance of our South-East Asian heritage and conservation.

 
  Joo Chiat   Singapore (image credit above: the lotus  anctuary )

Joo Chiat Singapore (image credit above: the lotus anctuary)

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True to culture & heritage.

"I was a part of The Indonesian Art Festival in 2016. We presented the musical theatre act in English, but it felt undoubtedly true to Indonesian culture and heritage. It was inspired heavily by local myths. All the performers and staffs are Indonesian. To be able to work with such talented people of my country and to present it to Singapore at the time was my proudest moment so far." 

- Laurentia, Designer, Choo Yilin

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Have tenacity.

"The most impactful life lesson from my grandparents would be to have tenacity and to keep pursuing the best. My grandparents led very humble lives, but it never deterred them from raising a family of graduates." 

- Jeanette, Senior Digital Strategist, Choo Yilin

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"We don't have to borrow from another person's culture or history to feel enough. Because quite simply, we are good enough. We are enough."

- Yilin Choo, Founder and Head Designer