Singapore HeritageFest 2021 celebrates our heritage of healthcare and food

This year’s festival focuses on Singapore’s cuisine and medical history.

Khalisa Zulkiflee

Creative writer and comedian on the side.

Published: 29 April 2021, 3:54 PM

Be inspired to keep our heritage alive with the annual Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) from May 3 to 30.  

While past editions of the SHF focused on specific neighbourhoods in Singapore, the 18th edition this year is themed around Singapore’s healthcare history and food heritage. 

It will commemorate the country’s significant healthcare and food heritage milestones, including the 200th anniversary of Singapore’s first hospital, and the inscription of our Hawker Centre on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

Members of the public can expect a line-up of activities both online and on-site, including virtual and on-site tours, photo essays, video documentaries and hands-on workshops. 

These programmes will show the lesser-known aspects of our nation’s history by revealing the stories behind our medical buildings, delving into the history and benefits of Eastern healing practices, and introducing food of different cultures.


You can join SHF’s volunteers on a tour to the Healing Garden at the Botanic Gardens, which is home to 400 varieties of plants with medicinal properties. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD


Those who wish to learn more about local medical history can take the physical tours. You get to see the still-standing old buildings of Tanglin Military Hospital, learn about various healing plants and their uses at the Botanic Gardens, and understand how Singapore General Hospital played a part during the Japanese Occupation. 

Through the workshops, you can also discover Singapore’s best-kept secrets, learn more about the evolution of volunteering in the healthcare sector, and listen to stories of Singaporeans while they cook traditional dishes or perform traditional arts in the Community Association series! 

There are also three screenplays centred around the theme of medicine and modernity.


‘An Ayurvedic Diet’, a digital food programme, shares how the Ayurveda diet can be prepared through traditional methods in Indian cuisine. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD


There are a number of food-related workshops with the National Museum of Singapore, featuring local favourites such as InKUEHdible and ImPECKable Rendang. The Women x Health and Wellness programme also shows you how to incorporate TCM recipes into your daily life with its Herbal Tea Tasting and Lavender Wax Sachet workshops. 

Other highlights include HomeGround @ NMS, an art installation featuring a modern interpretation of a traditional kampung house on the front lawn of National Museum Singapore. 

Ride & Discover, a content series which reimagines MRT stations as exhibition spaces, will also be held at Outram Park, Novena, Bedok and Toa Payoh MRT stations. 

You can start registering for SHF 2021 programmes from 2pm on Apr 29 here

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