Singapore is 54 years old this 2019. 54 years as a country of independence.
The Bicentennial hopes to cover more than 700 years of Singapore’s history. While Sir Stamford Raffles arrived and paved the way for modern Singapore in 1819, Singapore had already been on a journey more than 500 years before that. Those 500 years shaped some of the founding traits that Singapore is proud of such as openness, multiculturalism, and self-determination. As such, getting the chance to experience the Singapore Bicentennial at Fort Canning Park was a big thing. Seeing as how frustrated some people had gotten due to the rather hit-or-miss when booking for tickets online.
The Bicentennial Experience at Fort Canning Park was a great way to have a glimpse at Singapore’s more than 700 years of history. The Experience itself is divided into two main parts, the Time Traveler and The Pathfinder.
The Time Traveler takes you on a journey through Beginnings where Singapura was under the rule of Sang Nila Utama and his successors. Singapore continued to evolve and despite the challenges that she faced lived through until the Arrival of the British. This occupation became a turning point in Singapore’s history and helped pave the way to what we know of Singapore now. Connectivity shows us around the development of Singapore through 19th-century inventions, the evolution of physical infrastructure, as well as the advent of new ideas of identity and belonging. With the Occupation of Japan during World War II, Singapore came to a standstill and a time of reflection as to their state of dependence. This gave rise to the story of how Singapore came to gain independence through the efforts of the late Lee Kuan Yew in Destiny.
The visual and aural journey of the Time Traveler can only be described as amazing. It’s no surprise though, Singapore is no stranger to modern visual effects and art. But you really need to experience it to even get an idea of how it feels. The 5 acts differ in both presentation and experience and you will never feel that you are just experiencing the same thing over and over again.
The Pathfinder, on the other hand, is a free-range of activities that are presented in pavilions just outside the centre (but still within Fort Canning). You are free to take in as little or as much as you want by giving yourself time to wander about. Unlike the Time Traveler where all the acts are timed, The Pathfinder allows you to immerse yourself in whichever pavilion you would like to spend time in. Our favourites had been the Lookout, Reflections of our Past, the Seed Conservatory, and the Observatory. There is also a Food Pavilion just outside of the event space where you can enjoy some local food. But it’s not really that great. You’d honestly be better off making your way to an actual Hawker Center for your grub. Of course, you would still be doing yourself a favour by getting a bite to eat as it can get pretty warm outside.
Overall, it is great if you can get your hands on tickets to the show. Otherwise, the free exhibition such as the Pathfinder is also a good place to experience a bit of Singapore’s history. Plus, the Fort Canning grounds are just there for you to enjoy as well. There are other Bicentennial events happening around the island. More information can be taken here: https://www.bicentennial.sg.