Practices associated with Jawi Script
Jawi is a form of writing derived from the Arabic script, adapted to write out the Malay language. It has been used in the Malay Archipelago since the 15th century, and was widely used up to 1950s. Jawi has since been replaced by Rumi, the Romanised script for Malay language. There are still organisations in Singapore who retain the use of Jawi in company logos, receipts, as well as in religious setting. There have been increased interest in the practice of Jawi as an art form, appreciated by people of different ethnicities and religion.
Calligraphy in Arabic Script
Calligraphy in Arabic script is closely linked to Islam and Qu’ran. It can be considered a religious craft as well as a form of artistic expression. Using a reed pen and ink, calligraphy can be written on various surfaces including parchment, textile, ceramic and stone. The content may convey Qu’ranic verses, sayings, poetry, proverbs and stories. There are private schools in Singapore which run Arabic calligraphy classes.
Chinese calligraphy is the ancient art form of writing Chinese characters using a brush and black ink. There is a strong emphasis on technique, with apprentices copying the works of their masters repeatedly until they can produce perfect copies. There are many places offering calligraphy classes in Singapore, and some Chinese Singaporean families like to display calligraphy with poems or auspicious sayings in their homes.
Practices related to Mazu
Mazu(妈祖) is the most commonly worshipped sea deity. Chinese immigrants used to pray to her for safe voyages and many such temples were set up in Singapore. Today, celebrations for Mazu are common at temples such as Thian Hock Keng Temple. The temple organises lion dance performances, getai and traditional Hokkien string puppet shows for devotees as part of its annual celebrations on the birthday of Mazu.
Social Practices of Chinese Clan Associations
Clan associations were established by Chinese immigrants to Singapore as venues for socialisation and to provide support to new immigrants. Some of the social practices of these associations include the celebration of major Chinese festivals, such as Chinese New Year, Qing Ming, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival. These social practices still continue today, and some clan associations have even started to organise “heritage festivals” or “cultural events” as a means of promoting clan heritage to younger members.
Practices associated with Wearing of Sari
There are diverse clothing traditions for the Indian community in Singapore. Traditional clothing is worn as part of everyday wear as well as for festive occasions such as weddings, celebrations and festivals. The sari is common form of traditional clothing comprising of a long piece of cloth that is usually 6 or 9 yards in length and usually worn together with a cropped top and inner skirt. The sari is usually wrapped around the waist and draped over the shoulders. The style of wrapping and draping may differ according to different cultural traditions.
Traditional Provision Shops
Traditional provision shops are typically operated as family owned businesses and they serve the needs of the community around where they are located. In the past, provision shops often functioned as community hubs and provided easy access to daily provisions including sundry items, canned food, dried goods, newspapers and toys. While traditional provision shops have declined over the years due to the proliferation of supermarkets, mini-marts and online shopping, some of these shops can still be found in housing estates across Singapore.
Pawnshops have existed in Singapore since the colonial times, and they provide loans to people in return for items that are pledged to them. Some pawnshops have undergone an image overhaul and adopted a more modern look in order to draw younger customers.
Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which falls on the twelfth day of the third month in the Islamic calendar, is an important day to all Muslims, who are encouraged to spend it in quiet reflection by reading the Quran, the Islamic holy book. In Singapore, the occasion is commemorated through prayers and talks held at mosques to pay tribute to the life history of the Prophet.
Sepak takraw is a traditional game and sport where two competing teams will strive to keep a rattan ball in the air and kick it into their opponent’s court by using their feet, chest or head – without using their hands. It is a sport that is popular among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is played competitively in schools in Singapore and at regional sporting events like the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Chettiarsare moneylenders from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They worked in a kitangi,or warehouse. In the past, chettiars would share one kitangi and each chettiar would be assigned their designated spots to conduct business. Chettiars provided funds and loans for various businesses in Singapore, such as rubber plantations and real estate. The Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road is popularly known as “Chettiars Temple” because the chettiars built it to honour Lord Murugan.