Thursday 8 August 2013

Handing down memories of building a nation

By Kash Cheong, The Straits Times, 7 Aug 2013

IT COST 105-year-old Lim Beak just $50 to start her farm in Singapore about 70 years ago.

"We came from China with very little," said the migrant from Anxi, a county in south-eastern China, in Hokkien.

"Here, we relied on our fellow villagers from China. Life was tough, but everybody helped each other out."

The centenarian now has 10 children, 40 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren some of whom have gone on to university. She said: "I'm so ordinary. I didn't know that I would become a mini-celebrity with my story featured."

Her memories, along with those of 29 other Singapore pioneers, are documented in a multi-media exhibition - Hands: Gift of a Generation - which was launched yesterday at the National Library.

Their stories are told through intimate pictures of their hands, which represent their hard work in the nation-building years.

"It is through their hands that the nation blossomed; allowing us, the succeeding generations, to enjoy the gift of modern-day Singapore," said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who launched the exhibition.

Librarian Hedwig Anuar, musician Rufino Soliano and Singapore football coach Jita Singh were among those whose stories are featured.

The exhibition also includes interactive displays with a selection of over 400 memories of Singaporeans of all ages. Hundreds of volunteers, including school children, helped document them.

Said Shianne Goh, 16, who documented the memory of an old ship worker. "I wouldn't have the opportunities I do today today without their hard work."

Visitors to the exhibition can obtain one of 50,000 special cards which lets them "collect" the digital memories they like most.

The exhibition is on at the National Library until Oct 13 and is part of the Singapore Memory Project, which has collected over 900,000 memories since it started in August 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment