Chinese culture in Singapore has evolved in a way unlike other communities around the world.
Singapore is a tiny Southeast Asian nation-state located in a region with many ethnic groups, of which the Chinese comprise only a small percentage of the overall population. However, the Chinese form the majority in Singapore, living alongside a significant proportion of non-Chinese residents.
Daily | 10 am - 8 pm | Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre @Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Gallery, Level 2 | Free Admission
Over many years, interaction with other cultures, encouraged by geographical proximity and social diversity, has birthed a Chinese Singaporean identity that is complex and ever-changing. At the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, join in the conversation and discover (or rediscover) what it means to be a Chinese Singapo人.
Zone 1: What Makes Us, “Us”?
What shaped Chinese Singaporean culture? Was it influenced by our strategic location as a prominent Southeast Asian port? Determined by our past as a British Colony? Or steered by the policies of independent Singapore? Take a trip to find out how geography, economics and politics had a hand in crafting our present-day Chinese Singaporean identity.
Zone 2: Beyond Generations
Seemingly ordinary habits form the “Chinese culture”, a way of life that is passed down through the centuries. That’s how inventions such as the compass and paper, wisdom from thinkers of the old like Confucius, commonly shared values of Chinese culture and tradition have been passed on through the centuries. Peep through windows and open doors for a surprise!
Zone 3: When Cultures Meet?
How many languages do you use to order a kopi-c kosong peng? The answer: three! When early Chinese migrants first arrived in Singapore, the members of different dialect groups interacted with each other and other non-Chinese residents. The result: terms invented in Singapore, delicious local cuisine and a set of customs unique to their new home. Stop by the interactive kopi-making game and the food projection table to learn more about the results of these exchanges.
Zone 4: Made in Singapore
What happens when you rapidly expose a group of people to a different set of ideas, languages, and religions? You get a community who remain rooted in their heritage but are shaped by multicultural worldviews. Like many other ethnic groups in Singapore, the Chinese Singaporeans developed unique, imaginative perspectives, unbound to one way of thinking. See how the impact of these influences are observed in food, art and popular culture.
Zone 5: Making Our Mark
Within a remarkably short time, Chinese Singaporean food, culture and products have travelled the world. Perhaps you’ve heard JJ Lin’s songs in China or visited the Old Chang Kee in London for a Hainanese curry puff. If all the world’s a lazy susan, the next generation of Singaporeans await to serve the international audience music, plays, books, television, films… Enter this futuristic zone and watch a conveyor belt transport familiar brands and individuals around you.
Zone T: The Story So Far
We’ve come a long way from a rainforest-covered, seaport to glittering concrete jungle. Spend a moment to look back on our key milestones via the interactive digital timeline. As you pore over our rich heritage, wonder, “What comes next?”
Visits for the Public
Opening Hours (Including public holidays)
Monday: 2 pm – 8 pm | Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
*Extended opening hours until 9 pm from 22 January to 28 March 2021
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Gallery, Level 2. No registration required.
Free Guided Tours
English tour: 3 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Mandarin tour: 4 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
The tours are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Visitors can walk-in and register at the registration desk on Level 2. Each tour is limited to 16 participants (excluding the docent) due to safe management measures.
Current measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 requires us to limit the number of visitors in the building at any given time. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, please adhere to the following safe management measures when visiting our premises:
*Tour participants should use hand sanitizers or wash their hands with soap and water before the start of the tour.
*Each group must maintain a one-meter distance from other groups. There should be no mingling across groups.
*Masks must always be worn.
If you would like to arrange for a group visit or guided tour, find out more here.