New citizens take museum trail to brush up on culture

Citizenship ceremonies are usually simple and formal affairs.

Now, however, one constituency has added a touch of colour - by incorporating a museum trail.

Tampines GRC's 100 newly minted citizens received their pink identity cards at the Asian Civilisations Museum on Sunday. But first, they completed a self-guided tour created for new Singaporeans and their families.

They took a stab at answering questions posed in its brochures, which relate to the island's culture and history. One question asked them to identify the baju kurung, a traditional Malay dress. MP Baey Yam Keng said the event helped new citizens to make friends.

"But Singapore is not just a museum," he pointed out. "They must be interested and curious to find out more about Singapore, the estate that they live in," he added.

The People's Association helped to organise the event. Citizenship ceremonies in Tampines are usually held at a community club. But coupling them with a cultural activity such as the trail will be "considered as an option" in the future, said Mr Baey.

Supply chain manager Mujib Ul Huq Shakir, 41, who took Sunday's tour with his wife and two sons, said it was interesting for his children. He has lived in six countries, including China and Germany. But he chose to settle here after arriving in 1997 from Chennai, India.

"Of course, the Singapore culture is more than a tour," he said.

For former Myanmar national Sa Pyae Phyo Kywe, 22, the event was a chance to renew an old acquaintance.

He met a friend, originally from China, with whom he had done national service when they were both permanent residents. He joked that they got bossed around, saying in Singlish: "Every day, we kena tekan together."

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