A new online interactive history book will be introduced to supplement the current curriculum in secondary schools and teach students about Singapore’s 700-year history.
This was announced by President of Singapore Halimah Yacob at the launch of the Bicentennial Experience at the Fort Canning Centre.
The book will be available at 700years.sg and will showcase Singapore’s 700-year history through the social media feeds of 25 historical figures who have made their mark during the island nation’s pivotal moments, including Sang Nila Utama, Stamford Raffles, Munshi Abdullah, Seah Eu Chin and Elizabeth Choy.
In addition to this, four prominent historians – Kwa Chong Guan, Dr Tan Tai Yong, Dr Peter Borschberg and Dr Derek Heng – released a hardcopy edition of the book called 'Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore'.
This is an updated edition of ‘Singapore, a 700-Year History: From Early Emporium to World City’ published in 2009 and will contain new sources of historical information that have emerged over the past decade.
The Bicentennial Experience is the centrepiece event of Singapore’s bicentennial celebrations.
It consists of two parts: Time Traveller, an indoor cinematic multisensory experience, and Pathfinder, an outdoor trail that takes visitors through eight themed pavilions and installations.
Time Traveller presents Singapore's history in five acts, each highlighting a different historical period from 1299 up until the present year.
Among the works on display is a weather installation featuring rain falling "in reverse". It aims to provide insight on how weather played a significant role in the rise and fall of civilisations and cities, including Singapore.
The outdoor trail Pathfinder allows visitors to “experience Singapore’s 700-year-old history through space.”
It comprises eight themed pavilions, including the House of Maps, which displays the evolution of the marking of Singapore's place in the world across time, and the Seed Conservatory, where visitors can see the island's native plants, as well as those brought here either by forces of nature or to be cultivated for aesthetic and economic reasons.
There is also the Pavilion of Words, an open-air library housing quotes, books and excerpts taken from histories and stories related to Singapore.
“There are many different dimensions of our history that are just waiting to be told. And I think in telling that history, people understand what inherently is the strength of Singapore and Singaporeans, and what kinds of things we can feel confident about,” said Josephine Teo, Minister of Manpower and co-chair of the Singapore Bicentennial Ministerial Steering Committee during the Bicentennial Experience launch.