In World 155, cultural dilution did not happen to the Orang Laut community despite colonisation in 19th Century Singapore. Their cultural heritage was preserved and evolved together with that of other immigrant ethnicities. In particular, the early Chinese traders saw the Orang Laut’s harmonious way of living with nature as highly compatible with their Neo-Confucianism philosophy and cross-cultural exchange flourished.
This cultural amalgamation led to a renaissance of new artistic practice, cuisine, music, and fashion. These hybrid expressions of intangible cultural heritage, persisted in the face of later technological advancements and globalisation.
We were inspired by the harmonious living of the Peranakan community and our line of ancestry as individuals living in Singapore. We pondered and constructed the theme of cultural amalgamation that coexists with modernity and nature.
We moved forward with bringing together the cultural heritage of the Orang Laut community, preserving the legacy of balance through weaving, pandan leaves and water, in the name of creative direction. Paying homage to our racial commonality, the idea of preservation evolved with upholding values of other immigrant ethnicities, the early Chinese traders of Singapore, through colours and visuals.
This Exploration was contributed by Cedric Chern Junhao, Chloe Wong Jingying, Lim Suhui, Fiona Jennifer Lukito and Tay Yun Ting Lavon (located in Singapore), developed from a World contributed by this group, using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the authors and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.
Does this World remind you of something?
I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.
Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!