The Eurasian community in Singapore may be small but it has a rich and proud heritage. This strong sense of community and history is captured in the galleries of the Eurasian Heritage Gallery at the Eurasian Community House.
After being closed for more than a year for renovations, the Eurasian Heritage Gallery reopened to the public on 22 September 2019. Located on the third floor of the Eurasian Association, Singapore’s premises along Ceylon Road, the revamped Eurasian heritage centre consists of three different zones.
This first gallery introduces the origins of Eurasians.
As descendants of marriages between Europeans and Asians, Eurasians can trace their lineage back to the ports in the Southeast Asia region where colonial powers such as the British, Dutch and Portuguese settled.
In Singapore, certain areas such as Waterloo Street and Haig Road soon became more closely associated with the Eurasian community.
Eurasians in the Spotlight
The next section of the Eurasian Heritage Gallery is devoted to personalities from the Eurasian community. Among the prominent Eurasians is Benjamin Sheares, Singapore’s President from 1971 till his death in 1981.
Another Eurasian whose story is remembered at the Gallery is Halford Boudewyn. After escaping being interned in a Prisoner of War (POW) camp during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, he became involved in gathering intelligence for the Allies. This even required him to disguise as a vegetable seller to infiltrate a POW camp.
Taste of Tradition
The last section of the Eurasian Heritage Gallery celebrates the community’s customs, traditions and achievements.
On display are personal items such as a baptism gown and tableware. These provide a look at into the domestic and family life of Eurasian households.
There is also a section that pays tribute to sporting achievements by Eurasians.
The Eurasian Heritage Gallery provides a good overview of the community’s story. It also showcases that richness and diversity behind the moniker “Eurasian”.
In addition to visiting the Gallery, a visit to Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant on the ground floor of the Eurasian Community House is a great way to “get a taste” of the Eurasian heritage through its cuisine.
Eurasian Heritage Gallery
Where: Eurasian Community House, 139 Ceylon Road, Singapore 429744
Opens to the public on 22 September 2019