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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 7 May 2004

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Hua Song Museum in Haw Par Villa to open in December 2004

As part of the Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) effort to revitalise Haw Par Villa, Hua Song Museum will soon open its doors in December 2004 to bring alive the stories of Chinese communities around the world.

Hua Song Museum will add another dimension to Haw Par Villa's (虎豹别墅) appeal. Haw Par Villa has been marked by National Heritage Board as a historic site in April 2003.

Located in the west wing of the Haw Par Villa, Hua Song Museum will treat local residents and visitors to an engaging showcase, which relates the triumphs and struggles of early Chinese immigrants around the world.

Hua Song, which means "in praise of the Chinese Community", will bring alive the dreams, sacrifices, fortitude and achievements of the Chinese who left their families and homeland in search of fortunes overseas.

Visitors will be able to soak in the spirit of adventure and enterprise of the early Chinese migrants who seized opportunities amidst adversity to make good in their adopted land.

Mrs Pamelia Lee, Project Director & Curator, Hua Song Museum said: "Hua Song Museum will be a world-class attraction by virtue of the high historical value of the exhibits. It will be a museum for people from all over the world to understand the influence of the Chinese diaspora on modern society, and to understand how one ethnic community can become so successful internationally. As the migrant Chinese overseas are so well-assimilated into the various societies around the world, the topic of overseas Chinese is one of international relevance and appeal, not strictly an ethnic one. These stories, backed by academic research undertaken by the Chinese Heritage Centre are authentic."

Added Mrs Lee: "Hua Song Museum has come at a particularly critical juncture as China is emerging as a major economic and cultural powerhouse, and the overseas Chinese story is thus, a relevant and compelling one. Singapore is an ideal location for this museum as our local Chinese population is largely of migrant origins. Also, Singapore is located in the centre of Southeast Asia, a region with the largest Chinese diaspora around the world."

Occupying a 0.8-hectare site, Hua Song museum will comprise eight exhibit areas with themes including "The Long Road" ("遥遥长路"), "Archives of the World" ("老照片"), "Trailblazers" ("先驱者"), "Survival (Women)" ("生存 - 她们的故事"), "Chinatown" ("唐人街"), "The Long Table" ("长桌宴"), "Three-generation Hall" ("三代情"), and "Clans & Associations" ("宗乡会馆"). It will also house a function hall known as Wan Lu Tang* ("万缕堂") which can be used as a temporary exhibition area.

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Public Holidays VESAK DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 2 June 2004.