Friday, March 23, 2012

3 Artefacts

Pejeng-style Bronze Drum
It is a sacred relic to villagers in Bali. It is said to be used in rice cultivation rituals a long time ago.

1) The modern day drum is more used for entertainment means rather than cultural rituals. 2) Instead of being made out of entirely metal, in this case, bronze, modern drums use leather as the top skin of the drum and either wood or metal for the body. 
  1. Modern drummers also utilize a pair of drumsticks to knock against the drums, rather than using their hands or a giant ‘hammer’.
Northeastern Peninsular Malay Jewelry.
Worn by women of high statuses. Its function like how jewelry is being used nowadays. It is to look nicer and show the wealth or a status of a family.

  1. The jewelry are usually made of gold, unlike those of today, which ranges from jade to diamond, gold to pearls.
  2. The jewelry are more intricate than those of today. Most of today’s jewelry are just a small piece of diamond or pearl attached to a string or earring, while in the past, the jewelry are more intricate. They usually involve a lot of carving and colouring to finish it.
  3. The jewelries use faceted granulation, which is uncommon in jewelry today.
Wooden ancestor carving
The carvings are found in houses all around Nias Island. They are placed in houses to remind the families of their deceased. It is also said that this is a container for the spirit of the deceased.
  1. Today people use coffins to store the “spirit” and body of the deceased.
  2. People use pictures or lockets nowadays as a memory of the deceased member of the family.
  3. People use pictures and lockets as a memory, rather than to pray to.

Back then and Now~

The changes that Singapore River has experienced over the past centuries are obvious, especially the activities that have been occurring in or near it.

Back Then
- Used as a trade route

- Old port of Singapore

- Place for offerings

The Cleanup (1880's)

Heavy traffic on the Singapore River due to rapid urbanization and expanding trade. At the same time, it brought in water pollution caused by the disposal of garbage, sewage and other by-products of industries located along the river's banks. The sources of water pollution into the Singapore River and Kallang Basin included pig wastes from farms, unsewered premises and street hawkers. Riverine activities such as transport, boat building and repairs were also found along the Singapore River. Some 750 lighters plied along the Singapore River and Kallang Basin in 1977. Waste, oil spills and wastewater from these boats and lighters added to the pollution of the rivers.

Early October 1977: Action plan on "The Clean-up of the Singapore River and Kallang Basin" was submitted to the Prime Minister.

Late October 1977: The government was starting to take action to clean up the river. The plan involved the development of infrastructure such as housing, industrial workshops and sewage; massive resettlement, re-siting of street hawkers to food centres and phasing out of pollutive activities. Refuse was collected daily for incineration, while hawkers were issued licenses and provided specified areas with proper sewerage amenities.

Present Day

- Sides are packed with clubs and bars

- Economic hub of Singapore

- Many high priced houses located near the vicinity

- Tourist attraction

- Water rides and tours


Some example of activities:

Tour around the Singapore River with happy tourists

Extreme Swing

Our Journey

-Anderson Bridge-

-Merchant photos-

-White Raffles Statue-

-Outside the Asian Civilisation Museum-

-Outside the Parliament House-

-Hi there~-

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia has been at the crossroads of world trade for thousands of years. This exchange of goods also brought ideas that were absorbed by its ancient societies, The different responses to ideas religions and the technologies that came from China, India, West Asia and Europe over the centuries gave rise to the differences that we see in modern Southeast Asia today.


The earliest evidence of human habitation in Southeast Asia dates back at least 40 000 years. In the last six thousand years, agriculture became the main way of life and societies became more settled. The appearance of prestige goods such as pottery and bronze suggest that societies were becoming technologically advanced and socially complex. These early societies are now increasingly viewed by historians as agricultural and maritime innovators.


Hindu Buddhist Kingdoms

Indian merchants brought Hindu-Buddhist belief systems and new ideas about kingship to the region. These beliefs presented the ruler as a god-king. Rulers were closely identified with Shiva, Vishnu and Buddha.

Javanese Kingdoms

The 16th Century was a period of upheaval, which saw the spread of Islam from the mercantile city states of the Northern coast and the rise of the second Mataram empire. The Dutch East India Company gradually eroded the power of Mataram, and by the end of the 17th Century the Dutch had more or less complete political and economic control of the island. The Javanese royals turned their energies toward artistic and cultural achievements.

Vernacular Buddhism

During the 11th century, Burmese links with Sri Lanka introduced Theravada Buddhism into the region. over the next for centuries, it gradually replaced Hinduism to become the main religion of Burma, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. In this school of thought, the Three Jewels (Triatna) - the Buddha, the dhamma (teachings) and the sangha (community of monks) form the core around which the people practiced their faith.


In many Southeast Asia are as diverse as the many cultures, metalworking and textile weaving are viewed as acts of creation and not just merely handicraft . hence, there are many rituals and taboos abserved with such materials. For instance, metalworking is done by men and textile weaving by women. 


The performing arts in Southeast Asia are as divers as the many cultures they come from. Interstingly, they appear to have some shared origins. For example, bronze instruments, which were introduced in the region at least 2500 years ago, were probably the ancestors of the gamelan and other bronze ensembles of the regions. The performing arts are usually associated with religious rituals in which performers are commonly viewed as healers and shamans communicating between this world and the other. For example, the Cambodian and Indonesian masked dance traditions are still performed for healing ceremonies.

Our Journey~

View Our Journey from Clarke Quay to Asian Civilisation Museum in a larger map

This is the link:,103.849833&spn=0.0065,0.00927

Paranoma view from the Coleman Bridge

Brief history of the Coleman Bridge

Paranomic View from the Coleman Bridge