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Heritage awareness rising among Singaporeans: study

By Wong Mun Wai, Channel NewsAsia
18 July 2007

SINGAPORE : Singaporeans are becoming more aware of their heritage.

Many also feel that heritage plays a positive role in their lives and are supporting efforts to preserve it, according to the latest survey by the National Heritage Board.

The level of heritage awareness among Singaporeans has increased by 20% compared to five years ago when the first survey was carried out.

Since then, there has been a significant rise in the frequency of visits to heritage districts like Chinatown and Little India, as well as a rise in people agreeing it is important government continually invest in places like the National Museum to preserve Singapore heritage.

95 percent of respondents also support the preservation of all aspects of Singapore's heritage now and in the future.

And this is something that the government too believes in.

"The heritage of people, of a society was not cast in stone or cast in iron, and unchangeable. Heritage involves with time. That is why each and every one of us can contribute to our national heritage," said the Information, Communications and the Arts Minister, Dr Lee Boon Yang.

Almost 9 out of 10 respondents say a better understanding of the country's history and heritage increases their sense of rootedness.

The findings were released at the launch of this year's HeritageFest at Suntec City.

The Festival Hub features belongings like childhood memories contributed by Singaporeans.

Each of the items, like Loh Lik Peng's memories of the barber shop, tells a different story.

They are not just reflections of their own lives, but make up pieces of the puzzle of Singapore's history too.

The festival, which covers a range of activities, runs until the end of the month. - CNA /ls