Diwali special Singapore events: Decked up Indian Heritage Centre welcomes all to Deepavali Open House 2023

Located in one of the busiest corners of Singapore’s Little India precinct, the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) is a home of tradition, innovation, and all things related to the Indian and South Asian communities in the Southeast Asian region. The IHC hosts various cultural events, workshops, and performances, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of multiculturalism in Singapore and fostering unity among the different communities.

Candlelight cultural performance by Kathak Dancers Photo courtesy: Indian Heritage Centre
Candlelight cultural performance by Kathak dancers. Photo courtesy: Indian Heritage Centre

The Indian Heritage Centre’s Deepavali dress-up is something that the Indian diaspora and other residents of Singapore wait for each year. Once again, the IHC is ready to welcome Singaporeans and tourists to the island-nation to Deepavali Open House 2023, a series of events spread across the weekends from October 14 to November 12, 2023 (see the schedule below).

As soon as one steps into the IHC complex on those days, one would be immersed into the festive atmosphere; experience the rich traditions of Deepavali (aka Diwali); and take part in cultural programmes, performances, workshops and other activities.

Weekend One: Food

The first weekend is for the foodies. Visitors can enjoy the Hyderabad Mock Meat Biryani, an innovative, planet-friendly reinterpretation of the world-famous Hyderabad favourite. You could also learn how to prepare traditional sweets with a hands-on Laddoo Making and Storytelling session for families. Visitors can join a unique Food Trail in Little India to take in the smell of spices, vibrant scenes, colourful street art, and delicious street food.

The Light Within You - Laddoo Making and Storytelling. Photo courtesy: Indian Heritage Centre
The Light Within You – Ladoo Making and Storytelling Photo courtesy: Indian Heritage Centre

Weekend Two: Fashion

Fashion is the theme of the second weekend, and visitors can learn how to drape a sari at the Indian Fashion & Sari Draping Masterclass or be introduced to the rich heritage of South Indian jewellery at the South Indian Jewellery Painting Workshop.

There are many ways to wear a sari, each reflecting a regional style, personal preferences, and occasions. Like the Nivi Style, one of the most popular and standard ways of draping a sari, Bengali Style, Gujarati style, Maharashtrian/Nauvari style, Tamilian style, and so on.

If you have seen the latest Bollywood blockbuster, Rock Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani, you must have seen the Bengali style of draping a sari and how the gorgeous Ali Bhatt rocks the garment. A motivation for you to ensure you learn to drape one before this Deepavali.

Still from Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
A still from Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Weekend Three: Arts

The third weekend will focus on the arts. The Kala Sangam – Indian Miniatures Workshop will acquaint participants with Indian artistic traditions, while the Tanjore Art Workshop will have participants trying out this South Indian art form.

For the first time at the IHC, visitors can enjoy enchanting Candlelight Cultural Performances that showcase Deepavali’s rich beauty through Kathak, a classical Indian dance form.

Tanjore Art and Pichwai Demonstration Photo courtesy: Indian Heritage Centre
Tanjore Art and Pichwai demonstration. Photo courtesy: Indian Heritage Centre

Weekend Four: Mythology

The fourth weekend delves into the rich mythology that surrounds Deepavali with an engaging lineup of workshops, including an immersive experience of the love story of Hindu god Krishna and goddess Radha through the Dramatised Gallery Tour.

Weekend Five or the last weekend: Deepavali

The final weekend falls on the eve and day of Deepavali, and visitors can “soak in” the festive atmosphere at the IHC with its colourful décor, and also use the Centre as a base to explore Little India. Registration is required for selected programmes at https://ihc-programmes.peatix.com. Admission to the IHC is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.