Raffles’ Letters Exhibition, National Library Gallery

IMG_2168Hidden up on the tenth floor of Singapore’s National Library Building, this exhibition of ‘Raffles’ Letters’ promises the ‘Intrigues behind the founding of Singapore.’ There’s nothing like being friends with Phd students to inject a little culture into my Saturday morning.  This is how I found myself on a very educational curator’s tour by legal historian Dr Kevin Tan.

Kevin taught us many things about Singapore in the 1800’s, and two worldly lessons in particular.

1) That although wars are created by a great many factors; feuding over shipping lanes, egos, empires, megalomaniacs and so on. The founding of Singapore, hinges mainly on the British & our obsession with tea! Apparently, panicked by our dwindling supplies of tea & other spices at the turn of the century, Britain sent adventurers to China (& therefore Singapore as a stepping stone) to steal their plant samples and export them to the British colony of India. Naughty but true.

Number 2) is that if ever, like Sir Thomas Raffles, you want a shortcut to posthumous fame, don’t waste your time founding a Nation. The legacy is apparently all in the act of writing, and the secret…. is to publish a good book. There’s hope for all us bloggers yet!

When: Raffles’ Letters runs until 28th February 2013, entry is free
Where:  National Library Gallery, North Bridge Road, between Middle Rd & Bras Basah.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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