National Heritage Board presents a new traveling exhibition, “Love, Kebaya” | SENATUS Magazine


National Heritage Board presents a new traveling exhibition, “Love, Kebaya”

By Tricia Oliviera

The National Heritage Board (NHB) in Singapore a new traveling exhibition, “Love, Kebaya” which highlights the significance of kebaya as the region’s shared cultural identity and living heritage.

From 4 April to 24 May 2023, the exhibition showcases the kebaya as a form of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and the community stories about it. Kebaya has been submitted as a multinational nomination “Kebaya: Knowledge, Skills, Traditions and Practices” to the UNESCO Representative List of the ICH of Humanity.

Love, Kebaya kicks off at the National Museum of Singapore and will travel to various locations around Singapore thereafter. It will feature community contributions, including six kebaya created by kebaya craftspersons and practitioners, and photographs.

The photographs show kebaya worn by women of various communities in Singapore, including Malay, Peranakan and Eurasian communities, across different time periods and occasions – as casual wear, at festive occasions and important rites of passage, or as part of traditional performing arts.

Further outreach programmes on kebaya are being planned. The Peranakan Museum will host a kebaya showcase in June 2023, which will feature and celebrate kebaya as a garment worn by women of different communities living in Southeast Asia, rooted in the traditional fashion of the Malay and Indonesian World. The Malay Heritage Centre will also feature kebaya in some of its outreach initiatives and curatorial efforts, such as in its annual Hari Raya video in April 2023 and roadshow on Malay textiles from mid-June 2023 onwards.

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