Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/147292
Title: At the crossroads of tradition and modernity : analysing the commodification of culture and heritage in Singapore through state-initiated night markets in the 1980s
Authors: Ng, Galen Yee Teck
Keywords: Humanities::History::Asia::Singapore::Social aspects
Humanities::History::Asia::Singapore::Politics and government
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Ng, G. Y. T. (2021). At the crossroads of tradition and modernity : analysing the commodification of culture and heritage in Singapore through state-initiated night markets in the 1980s. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. https://hdl.handle.net/10356/147292
Abstract: Night markets (also known as pasar malams) in Singapore have endured a tumultuous past. They initially thrived during the post-independence era as important commercial and social hubs for the masses who were being relocated into suburban public housing estates. However, once Singapore underwent rapid economic expansion and industrialisation, they were then disparaged as chaotic, congested and unsanitary. State authorities enforced stringent regulations designed to first contain, but later outrightly suppress them throughout the 1970s. Surprisingly, just one decade later, these same authorities attempted to revive night markets to promote Singapore’s tourism industry, albeit with limited success. Despite their rich history, night markets have hardly received any academic attention to date, particularly regarding the 1980s when they were deliberately reintroduced. What happened during this period? This paper contends that the government appropriated night markets to achieve its economic goals while simultaneously marginalising other aspects of traditional night market culture that did not align with its agenda or could not be easily controlled. In doing so, the organic vibrancy and original authentic meanings of such sites became displaced, reducing night markets to only a peripheral activity in Singaporean mass culture thereafter.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/147292
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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