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Preview: Armenian Street Party – Balik Kampong 2.0

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Now in its third edition, the Peranakan Museum’s annual Armenian Street Party returns this weekend to close off the street and transform it for two evenings into a sprawling carnival of activity. Themed Balik Kampong 2.0, the party aims to celebrate the diversity of all of Armenian Street’s residents and history, and comes with plenty of partners and participants to show visitors a good time.

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Deborah Emmanuel

Taking place on Friday and Saturday night, come join in the party as the street comes alive with performances, pasar malams and Peranakan culture. Fans of local music can look forward to bands like .gif, JOIE and The Pinholes playing sets on either night, while for some spoken word action, catch Deborah Emmanuel as she presents a collection of poems about the loss of identity and heritage before she metamorphoses into electronic band Mantravine’s lead vocalist each night.

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Even the world of fashion will come to take centrestage during the party, as Nonya Irene Ong presents Si Nyonya Manis, a showcase of colourful sarong kebayas through the ages, from the traditional to the modern, as they joget joget to traditional Peranakan tunes and engage audiences in some mischievous humour. Speaking of fashion, the Peranakan Museum will also be displaying a number of sarong kebaya reinterpretations from fashion students from Lasalle, and while there, you can also check out the other contemporary art works, such as OH! Corak Corak, a kaleidoscope structure by OtherHalf displaying a trippy display of Peranakan-inspired patterns and colours.

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In conjunction with the Peranakan Museum’s upcoming exhibition on the history between photography and Peranakans (opening 5th May), visitors will also come face to face with Sarah Choo Jing and Larry Kwa’s We stop to watch the world go by, a giant, prismlike structure that allows visitors to see a real-time projection of people, events and happenings within the entire museum from within the room.

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Visual artist Hafiz Osman and jamban 1956 outside the Substation

Visitors can also shop at the Pasar Malam running throughout the night, featuring partners from independent bookstore BooksActually, pin store Pins & Pongs, food from Mary Gomes of Mary’s Kafe, True Blue Cuisine and The Quarters, and even a unique tour service from Triquestra.sg’s PIMP MY RIDE!, allowing visitors to learn about the sights and sounds of Singapore while travelling around in a vintage sidecar.

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There’s no party like an Armenian Street Party, and this weekend, come home to the Peranakan Museum with Balik Kampong 2.0, let the wave of batik and good vibes wash over you as visitors participate in the countless activities in store, and come away with a big smile on your face, ecstatic with culture on your mind and stars in your eyes.

The Armenian Street Party takes place on 20th and 21st April 2018 around the Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian Street (S179941) and beyond, from 7pm – 11pm. Admission is free. 

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