Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/17741
Title: Globalization, Identity and Heritage Tourism - A case study of Singapore's Kampong Glam
Authors: DAVID TANTOW
Keywords: malay heritage, heritage tourism, urban renewal, ethnic districts, nation building, global Singapore
Issue Date: 11-Dec-2009
Source: DAVID TANTOW (2009-12-11). Globalization, Identity and Heritage Tourism - A case study of Singapore's Kampong Glam. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The thesis analyses the impact of ethnic policies on heritage districts in post-colonial nations, through a case study of Malay-Muslim minority heritage in Singapore. The dissertation explores the link between nation building with its ¿politics of heritage¿ and tourism-induced cultural changes, and considers these two factors shaping representations of ethnic heritage in combination; a combination that has not been sufficiently discussed in most previous tourism studies. It shows that the Singapore government has not developed an exact definition of the Malay contribution to the social identity of Singaporeans and multicultural nation building. Applying a perspective from urban geography on the consequences of urban renewal on the minority district of Kampong Glam, I argue that the role that Malay-Muslim culture should have played in the representation of ethnic heritage after the end of urban renewal in 1989 was also unclear. Since the government did not define a theme of representation for Kampong Glam¿s urban environment, tourism brokers developed their own interpretation of the Malay-Muslim legacy. They displayed a ¿cosmopolitan¿ Middle Eastern representation of Muslim heritage, largely neglecting the local Malay minority community. This glamorous and cosmopolitan representation of heritage inaccurately portrays the local Muslim population as an Arab trading caste, emphasising their ancient trade connections with the Middle East. In contrast, the Singapore government¿s nation building approach continues to disregard the urban legacy of the local Malay-Muslim community, largely ignoring their prominence as seafarers and explorers, a fact that indicates that ¿The myth of the lazy native¿ (Alatas 1977) persists in relation to the Malay community after Singapore¿s independence. The analysis is based on one year of ethnographic research in the Malay-Muslim heritage district, combined with an in-depth survey of its business community with a response rate of 64%, 350 multi-lingual questionnaires of Singaporean visitors and tourists and 25 in-depth interviews with selected local stakeholders.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/17741
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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