Relive days of Stamford Rd street hawkers

Hawkers and their pushcarts used to line the grounds of the National Museum in the 1960s, selling street food to peckish visitors.

This scene will be recreated at the Stamford Road museum for the upcoming Singapore HeritageFest.

The National Heritage Board (NHB) has arranged for 15 stalls run by the next generation of Singapore hawkers to sell local favourites such as laksa and satay on the weekend of April 29 and 30 from 6pm to 10pm.

Festival director Angelita Teo said the aim is to go beyond showcasing what happened in the past to how the country has evolved, with an emphasis on intangible heritage like the hawker culture and how the young are involved in preserving it.

She said: "Now, we have second-, third-generation 'hawker- preneurs' who are coming on, learning old family recipes and continuing that tradition."

The festival is slated to run across three weekends from April 29 to May 15.

Mr Alan Tan, 44, a third-generation owner of HarriAnns Nonya Table, which specialises in authentic Peranakan delicacies, hopes to reach out to the younger crowd.

He said: "Instead of cupcakes and other Western desserts, Singapore has its own kuehs.

"We hope to share this with the public to get them to understand flavours of the past before they are lost for good."

The heritage festival initially started in 2004 with temporary exhibitions in malls. It has since evolved to take place across different parts of Singapore.

For instance, Bukit Pasoh, which is lined with Chinese clans and clubs such as the Gan Clan, Siong Leng Musical Association and Ee Hoe Hean Club, will be pedestrianised for the first time over the first weekend on April 30 and May 1, alongside neighbouring Keong Saik Road.

The various organisations based there will be taking their culture and crafts to the streets with performances.

On May 14, visitors will be able to take a boat to Pulau Ubin to watch the premiere of an NHB-commissioned Royston Tan documentary about the island.

More than 120 organisations and community partners are involved in the festival this year, up from 80 the year before.

Last year, the festival attracted 1.6 million visitors.

Ms Teo said: "After SG50 last year, people realised they need to do more for the next 50 years.

"Heritage is part of our identities as Singaporeans - this is something that will always be exciting and relevant for people."

•The public can start signing up for the activities on Friday at

This article was first published on April 20, 2016.
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