Intangible Cultural Heritage

Dondang sayang

Oral Traditions and Expressions

Traditions such as folk tales and storytelling that use language to transmit knowledge and express our cultural values.

10 results found.

  • Malay Poetic Forms

    malay poetic forms

    The Malay oral and literary culture in Singapore is commonly associated with three traditional Malay poetic forms: pantun (rhyming quatrains), syair (narrative poetic form) and gurindam (verses of moral instruction). These expressions are used to convey ideas and life lessons.

  • Pilgrimage to Kusu Island

    kusu island

    Kusu Island is the site of an annual pilgrimage drawing both Chinese and Malay devotees. Meaning “Turtle Island” (龟屿岛) in Chinese and “Peak Island” (Pulau Tembakul) in Malay,

  • Wayang Kulit

    wayang kulit

    Wayang kulit, or shadow puppet theatre, is a form of traditional theatre. Respected as a pusaka, or heirloom, it is theatre with storytelling through puppetry, music, and sophisticated handcraft.

  • Xinyao


    The term xinyao (新谣) refers to a repertoire of Mandarin songs composed, written and performed by Singaporeans.

  • Bangsawan


    Bangsawan is a form of Malay operatic theatre. Derived from the Malay term for “nobility”, bangsawan focuses its stories predominantly on Malay nobles and royalty. But, it is also multicultural in nature, with plots that are sometimes based on Indian and English stories, and involving performers from diverse ethnicities.

  • Dondang Sayang

    peranakan dondang sayang

    Dondang sayang is a musical and poetic art form, involving the singing of pantun, or four-line verses. In a performance, two singers would typically try to outwit each other in an amicable and teasing manner on topics such as love or good deeds.

  • Dikir Barat

    Dikir barat is a popular source of entertainment for the Malay community in Singapore.

  • Wayang Peranakan

    Wayang peranakan is a theatre form that was derived from bangsawan, a type of Malay theatre, in the early 20th century. It is performed by the Chinese Peranakan in the Baba Malay language.

  • Jinkli Nona Song and Branyo Dance

    Ms Valerie Scully, the former director of the Kristang Cultural Troupe.

    Fair Maiden, Fair Maiden, I want to marry you! So begins the courting song, Jinkli Nona. Colourful and teeming with energy, Jinkli Nona, as a song, is commonly associated with branyo, a dance performed by the Eurasian community in Singapore.

  • Getai

    A getai stage performance

    Getai (歌台) translates literally from Chinese as “song stage” and is a form of vernacular entertainment involving live performances of music, song, and dance.

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